Fast ferry tender: TM says RfP process respects all European laws

Transport Malta that a Request for Proposals for the provision of a fast ferry service between Malta and Gozo respects all European laws.

The process was halted again after one of the bidders, Virtu Ferries Ltd, claimed that the process was “highly illegal.”

The company said the process was “ill-conceived and fraught with a great number of patent, manifest and serious illegalities,” adding that, “any reasonable board should order its outright cancellation.”

This was the third time that the government tried to award the contract. The previous two calls were cancelled after lengthy court proceedings.

TM said it has just submitted its reply before the Public Contracts Review Board, following the raising of an objection by a particular company in the pre-contractual stage about the Request for Proposals to create a scheduled ferry service in both Malta and Gozo.

“The same company raising this objection did not make use of the timeframes stipulated by the law as the period during which any clarifications may be requested. Instead, it chose to attempt to cancel the Request for Proposals, without having ever requested clarification on points that are being raised now and which could have easily been explained prior,” it said.

TM said the RfP “respects all European laws while maintaining a scheduled ferry service which is feasible and competitive, with the investment which is set to benefit Maltese and Gozitan people, to be made entirely by the private sector.”

For the first time, this project also imposes eco-vessels that do not harm the environment, with minimal CO2 emissions, it continued.

“Upon completion of this ambitious project, the first of its kind in the Maltese Islands, the public will benefit from transport by sea with fixed times too, so everyone can plan their travelling from one point to another ahead of time, whether by public transport on land or public transport at sea. While this project will set a future path for public transport, it will adhere to the environmental goals imposed by Government. Additionally, the project is also part of a holistic plan to mitigate the issue of traffic.”

TM said it will “continue protecting the interests of Maltese and Gozitan people at every stage of this ambitious project, and looks forward to the end of this stage, when the tender will be issued towards the soonest possible availability of this service to everyone which will be offered as another alternative for modern efficient transport which continues to reduce traffic and pollution in our country.”