gozo channel

New Transport Minister Chris Bonett has indicated that the tender to operate the main ferry service between Ċirkewwa in Malta and Mġarr Harbour in Gozo is set to be issued “in the coming months”.

Replying to a question posed by National Party MP Chris Said, Minister Bonett said the Ministry is currently working on drawing up the tender, repeating statements made by his predecessor Aaron Farrugia in February 2023 and the Prime Minister in October 2022.

The service is currently operated by Gozo Channel, a wholly Government-owned company.

Its public service agreement expired in 2017, and has since then been extended indefinitely pending the signing of a new agreement, which must be issued for public tender.

Initially, the Government was paying the company around €800,000 per year, but this figure shot up to around €10 million annually in 2017.

The tender was already issued three times between 2018 and 2020, but all were challenged in Court and struck down by interesed parties claiming that the wording and conditions favoured specific firms close to the Labour Party.

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