Government and Freeport Terminal agreement signed which will lead to an investment of almost €104 million

The Ministry for the Economy, European Funds and Lands has signed an agreement with Freeport Corporation and Freeport Terminal which will lead to an investment of around €104 million. This investment will ensure the Freeport’s commercial competitiveness with other ports. It will also protect the interests of the residents. This was announced by the Minister for the Economy, European Funds and Lands, Silvio Schembri.

This agreement will lead to the Freeport’s first expansion in 20 years and will extend the Northern Quay at Terminal Two by 176 metres and the Western Quay by 195 metres amounting to a total of 30,000 square metres of reclaimed land, ensuring that the Malta Freeport can accommodate new larger LNG-powered ships and allowing Freeport to moor these vessels further out of the residential area.

This agreement also features a number of conditions that the government has negotiated for the benefit of the residents of Birżebbuġa and their surroundings. In fact, any possibility of placing cranes on West Quay Terminal One which is the closest quay to the residential area, will be removed. Any roll-on roll-off activity may no longer occur at late night hours or in the early hours of the morning, to further reduce inconveniences to surrounding residents.

In addition, Malta Freeport Terminals will provide a one-time contribution of €300,000 as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to be used for social purposes in Birżebbuġa.

Minister Silvio Schembri said that this is a project which together with the Shore-To-Ship project in the Freeport which will allow ships to turn off their engines and connect directly to electricity, will raise the level of operation of the Freeport in our country while further reducing the element of inconvenience for the surrounding residents.

“This is the way we do politics, that while we see that our economic sources such as Freeport continue to be strong, we do so with the utmost respect to the residents of the Birżebbuġa locality,” said Minister Silvio Schembri.

Freeport Chief Executive Officer Alex Montebello said that “With the extension of Terminal Two, everyone will gain; the terminal, will be able to cope with the world’s largest container ships with maximum efficiency, the Birżebbuġa residents, and local importers and exporters will benefit from more services than ever before”.

Malta Freeport Corporation CEO David Magro thanked all those involved in this project and emphasised the corporation’s commitment to help Birżebbuġa residents. He also stated that work is currently underway on a new parking lot for the use of residents.