Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi have announced an investment of €65 million by Infrastructure Malta, partially financed by the EU Cohesion Fund, in the building of a new wharf for cargo in the Ras Ħanżir area.
Minister Borg said that, “After long years of abandonment, Infrastructure Malta immediately showed interest in this project, one which will form part of a holistic plan for our Grand Harbour and will also aid in favour of the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project. Thanks to this government, which not only thinks of the present generation’s health, but also thinks long term for future generations, I can proudly say with confidence that we will be investing a total of €65 million which will be used to build a new wharf for the shipping of goods, and which will also be enriching the efficiency of our Grand Harbour and further increasing the space for the mooring of Ro-Ro ships and others which enter our harbour.”
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that one of the main priorities of the EU is to create a network to facilitate connectivity between countries. He explained that in order to have a strong single market we need efficient transport and, therefore, Malta as an island must invest more in its harbours. He further explained that, with an investment of €23.9 million in EU funds, a new quay of around 25,000 square metres will be built. This will give the opportunity for more ships to enter Malta, further strengthening the maritime sector and attracting more jobs.
A number of consultations with entities and stakeholders have taken place, as well as a number of environmental studies to make sure that this project starts on the right foot in terms of environmental conservation.
Earlier this month, a call was issued for contractors to build this facility within the next three years. The wharf will have an area of approximately 28,000 square metres, equivalent to 4 football grounds, which will also serve for the increased mooring of vessels of up to 300 metres in length and 9 metres wide.
Other facilities in this project include connections for potable water, electricity and telecommunications. There will be systems for rainwater catchment, as well as a system of fire hydrants. This project will also include efficient lighting and electrical charging for refrigerated trailers.
Infrastructure will also be implemented to prepare this zone for shoreside electricity. This will be utilised when, in the second phase of the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project, these types of facilities will be implemented in the Ras Ħanżir area.