Marsaxlokk harbour had been identified in the 1960’s as a potential major harbour in view of the lack of hinterland space at The Grand Harbour. Construction and land reclamation commenced in the late 1970’s. The Breakwater and Terminal 1 were funded by funds deriving from Saudi Arabia and Italy whilst the Republic People of China provided technical support for the building of the Breakwater. Works on the Breakwater commenced in the early 1980’s The function of the Malta Freeport Corporation, as contemplated in the Malta Freeports Act was, when set up originally in 1989, to act as the authority, the developer and the operator of the Freeport. Since the privatisation of the container terminals in 2004, the role of the Authority is:
- Regulator in terms of the Malta Freeports Act and responsible to ensure that all Freeport users with the provisions of the Act and Licence agreements
- Provider of security services to Freeport users
- Surveillance and management of the Customs Free Zone and Free Warehouses as from 1st May 2004
- Media for the service and repayment of all bank loans and bonds procured throughout the years for the developments of the area into a commercial container transhipment hub port and storage free zone.
- Two container Terminals, operated by Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd for the transhipment of containers.
- An oil products terminal, operated by Oil tanking Malta Ltd.
- A logistics base for offshore oil & gas industry, operated by Medserv plc.
- Warehousing and re-distribution services are carried out by a number of different tenants.