Last Updated on Friday, 20 January, 2023 at 10:29 am by Andre Camilleri
Infrastructure Malta (IM) launched its 5-year maritime infrastructure investment plan for the Grand Harbour. This was announced by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia, CEO of IM Ivan Falzon and Perit Janice Borg, Head of the Maritime Unit within IM.
“The Grand Harbour is an economic driver because it is a place of connectivity for our country where we receive raw materials, but also a place of investment for merchant ships, cruise liners, and other economic niches. Never before have we seen so much investment in a few years in the Grand Harbour. Around €180 million, including EU funds, will be invested over a period of five years by IM alone,” Minister Farrugia stated.
The Minister said that a balance will be achieved between the works that will valorise the potential of the Grand Harbour by allowing it to accommodate the largest fleets as well as new wharfs which will serve as recreational zones and the shore-to-ship project which will drastically reduce emissions.
He also added that these projects go hand in hand with the regeneration projects being carried out by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC).
The planned projects include:
- The construction of a new 360-meter pier for the handling of goods in the area of Ras Ħanzir in Kordin.
- The restoration of the industrial warehouse at Boiler Wharf in Isla.
- Through a €25 million project, the Pinto piers 4 and 5 are being extended, and the Lascaris pier is also being rebuilt. With this project, a new continuous pier will be formed in both areas with a length of 350 meters.
- Investment in the environment around the Grand Harbour through the two shore-to-ship projects. With the implementation of a project at the northern piers and Boiler Wharf we will be reducing 90% of the pollution in the Harbour due to ship emissions.
- The last phases of the €5 million project are to give new life to the quays in Sally Port, Birgu, with a new promenade that will continue to extend the pedestrian walkways along the banks of the Cottonera.
“IM will continue to work continuously so that during this year we will see the first results of the environmental project whereby large ships such as cruise liners will have the possibility to turn off their engines while they are docked in the Harbour. At the same time, we will start to equip more piers in the South of the Harbour with adequate systems so that cargo ships can connect to the national grid and turn off their engines. Among others, this project will include shore connection facilities for the cruise liners that are for repair in Palumbo,” Ivan Falzon explained.
It was also explained that last year, existing areas of the Harbour were cleaned of contaminated material. In a few weeks, the public will be able to walk along the coast of the three cities without stopping and will be able to enjoy the scenery of the Grand Harbour.