29 February 2024






3 mins

During Q 4 of the year 2020 it was announced that a new wharf for cargo will be built at the Ras Ħanżir area,  part of Grand Harbour , a project that will cost €65 million, partially funded by the EU Cohesion Fund.

The Planning Authority File No : PA/08472/19 with ERA Reference EA/00042/19 is referred to Construction of a new cargo facility at Ras Hanzir , limits of Kordin, Paola.

First to start with was the removal of Ras Hanzir Dolphins (RHD) Petroleum handling  operated by ENEMED as per Infrastructure Malta (IM) and ERA’s assessment & recommendation issued in Q 3 of 2021 with Document in PDF Format –

During Q 2 of 2023 the dismantling of RHD steel structure was being done by Bezzina Maritime Services Crane Barge BEZZ V as can be seen in the images below –

Bezzina Maritime Services are part of BEZZINA GROUP – which they are our SPONSORS too.

During November 2022, the tender for the Construction was awarded to Excel Sis Enerji Uretim Construction. Excel Sis Enerji Uretim Construction is largely a Turkish consortium which however includes Maltese investors.  The Maltese side of it – which holds 25% of the company’s shares – was initially led by Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli. The company made waves in Malta after it won a number of the Labour government’s major road building project, as it spent some €700 million to upgrade Malta’s road network.

Nowadays, according to record on the Malta Business Registry, Portelli is no longer a shareholder, but instead the local interest in the company is held by Tangent Vector Projects Limited – the sole shareholder of which is James Fenech who last year acquitted of breaching EU sanctions by providing two RHIB vessels to a group of Libyan private military contractors during the Libyan Civil War.

Infact RHIB’s – MANTA 1  Official number (O.N.) 17387 and MANTA 3 with O.N. 22270 are seen in the area and crossing the harbour from Pinto 4/5 to RHD, Bridge Wharf, BSRY etc.

MANTA 1 berthed at Pinto 5 Wharf.

MANTA 3 crossing Grand Harbour.

Excel’s bid was not without obstacles: Infrastructure Malta was forced by the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB) to cancel the contract it awarded to Excel in January 2022, after the board found that a rival consortium – NQuay-MT, owned by Bonnici Brothers, had offered to fulfil the tender for €18 million less. NQuay-MT was the cheapest bidder at €37.5 million, but was disqualified on the grounds that their bid was, administratively, not compliant. As the second cheapest bidder, Excel Sis won the tender with an offer of €55.4 million.

NQuay-MT’s lawyer John Gauci successfully argued to the PCRB that their exclusion from the tender was unfounded, thereby forcing Infrastructure Malta to cancel the contract and reconsider how it awarded it. The matter was taken to court, where it was decided that the decision taken by Infrastructure Malta had been correct, with the result that the tender was awarded to Excel Sis as originally intended.

The contract decision notice being issued on the government’s tendering platform in November 2022.

The project itself, which spans 28,000 square metres, will see the creation of a new wharf for cargo ships and is supposed to be completed within the next three years.

During the reclamation area phase, Noksel piling pipes arrived at Malta last Tuesday 27th February aboard the 1998 Damen built 90 m cargo ship JANET homeported at Bridgetown (BRB Flag).

More images can be found here –

Once she was secured at Magazine Wharf , part of Valletta Gateway Terminals (VGT) between bollards 18 to 23, discharging of piling pipes started. Bonnici Brothers (BB) trucks/trailers could be seen waiting for the piling pipes to be loaded on their respective trucks without a delay.

And on completion, BB transferred them to RHD site with a Kobelco BM600 crawler crane awaiting to discharge them on land.

More images can be found here – and here –

To Be Continued…….



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