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Deep Water Quay works must not disrupt operations - Maritime Forum

Date: 26/03/2018

Space on the quay is already stretched as shipping flourishes

The government should prepare alternatives for the vessels that currently use Deep Water Quay, to ensure that the repairs meant to start shortly would not disrupt operations, the Malta Maritime Forum said.

The Deep Water Quay has already been partially upgraded thanks to a contract awarded in 2013. However, much more work needs to be done and the forum has been in close contact with the government on the issue.

Forum CEO Joe Bugeja said the problem is that space on the quay is already insufficient – and the repairs are expected to take around 15 months.

The tender for the works was issued in May and closed in July 2017 – with bids ranging from €18.5 million to €32 million – but it was held up by an appeal.

Capital Projects Minister Ian Borg recently said that the evaluation had now re-started for the works, which include piling and construction.

Mr Bugeja stressed that there was currently only one roll-on/roll-off ramp and suggested that the government ensured that a temporary floating ramp was procured while the works are underway.

The forum, set up in 2015, covers the main operators and its main objectives are to lobby for the interest of the sector as well as to assist in the development of new ones.

The need to repair the quay is only one of the issues that has worried operators. Sources from the sector have long been complaining about the fact that the space available was not keeping up with the surge in shipping activity in the Grand Harbour. Some years ago, the area behind the shed was taken over for parking, greatly reducing the area for handling cargo.

The situation was not helped when Transport Malta decided to place its offices there and more recently it became apparent that the site of the Sea Malta building has been earmarked as part of the Marsa Menqa concession. Plonked in the middle of it all is the abandoned grain terminal and a derelict building, also taking up invaluable space.

Source: Times of Malta

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