Ferry dry docked in Spain

The Jean de La Valette fast ferry
The Jean de La Valette fast ferry

FAST ferry Jean De La Valette’s (JDLV) last known location is in Spain, according to chairman of the Port Authority (PATT) Lyle Alexander, who added that the vessel is still scheduled to arrive at the end of this month.

“Generally speaking, she is still on schedule and should be here at the time we had stated. Nothing has changed since the last time we spoke on it. Right now she is on dry docks in a dockyard in Spain,” Alexander said.

The National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) recommended the temporary lease of the ten-year-old JDLV, sourced from Malta, to service the seabridge. It will replace the sea-weary TT Express which Government plans to sell until two new ferries arrive in mid-2020. The Galleons Passage is still in operation while the Cabo Star continues to transport cargo on the seabridge.

The leasing of the ferry has not been without controversy as the Opposition claimed procurement of the vessel was shady.

The ferry was leased from Virtu Ferries whose man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Fran­cis Portel­li, of par­ent com­pa­ny Virtu Hold­ings, has been in­volved in a huge oil scan­dal in Mal­ta, and has al­le­gations of money launder­ing and bribery still hang­ing over his head. However, Nidco said it had no issue signing the lease. Chairman of Nidco Esther Farmer had previously said there was nothing to suggest that Nidco could not continue doing business with Virtu Holdings. She said the is­sue of Portel­li’s court mat­ter was not rel­e­vant to the pro­cure­ment process.

“There is noth­ing il­le­gal in the con­tract that NID­CO is about to en­ter in­to. NID­CO deals with the le­gal­i­ty of some­thing, not the con­cept,” Farmer said.

The JDLV is being leased at 34,500 Euros or TT$263,580 per day.


"Ferry dry docked in Spain"

More in this section