Valletta Cruise Port plans to enlarge one of its quays, and has applied to the authorities for the refurbishment of a war-era site in Pinto warehouses to provide extra car parking space.
It is estimated that in five years time, 90 new large cruise liners will be introduced, carrying more than 7,000 people on board each, including both passengers and crew.
Valletta Cruise Port CEO, Stephen Xuereb, speaking on local television, said that the company running the passenger terminal at the Grand Harbour has to cater for tomorrow’s cruise liners and therefore has identified the need to strengthen the quays’ infrastructure.
“We are considering a project with Transport Malta to enlarge the Pinto 4 and 5, the quay adjacent to the Customs building, so that it will have the same capability of the quay facing the Valletta Waterfront, in order to accommodate very large ships,” Xuereb said.
Xuereb told the media that there are two pending applications with the Planning Authority – the first for the building of offices on vacant land near the Pinto warehouses, in the direction to Marsa. The other proposal is the building of a parking lot, spread on four storeys in the middle of these warehouses.
Turkish company, Global Ports Holding, the biggest cruise-line port operator, has a majority shareholding in the Valletta Cruise Port. Xuereb explained, “Today we form part of a group, which operates 14 ports, 13 in the Mediterranean and another one in Singapore. This gave us more visibility and strength in negotiations and greater accessibility for cruise liners.”
Apart from the post he occupies as the Valletta Cruise Port CEO, Xuereb is also Global Ports Holding COO, responsible for the surveillance and improvement of the operation of the group’s 14 ports.