The Malta Independent 8 December 2022, Thursday
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Updated: V18 Foundation wants removal of ‘eyesore’ oil rig at Palumbo shipyard

Monday, 25 September 2017, 14:56 Last update: about 6 years ago

The Valletta 2018 Foundation and a number of local councils from the Grand Harbour area have called for the removal of a massive oil platform that has been moored at the Palumbo shipyard for over a year.

V18 Chairman Jason Micallef told the press that the “eyesore” oil rig has remained at the shipyard for over a year and there is no sign that it will be removed.

Micallef said he had spoken with a number of authorities but still has no idea when the massive platform would be moved.

He said the rig was “ruining the aesthetic of the Grand Harbour and we are in the dark as to how long this is going to be allowed to go on.” The V18 Chairman said he will be personally writing to the head of the Lands Authority on Tuesday, asking for the timeframes the shipyard company is meant to abide by.

He pointed out that Palumbo was renting the shipyard, which means that there is a contract. This means that there must be some conditions the company has to follow.

Acknowledging the economic activity in the port could not stop for the duration of V18, when Valletta will serve as European Capital of Culture, he insisted that there was a better way of doing things.

He said several mayors agreed that the views of Valletta and the Grand Harbour should be respected.

Jason Micallef said the foundation was also trying to ensure that the number of cranes in operation in Valletta are kept to a minimum in 2018.

Palumbo reply

The oil rig referred to by V-18 chairman Jason Micallef had the authority’s clearance to enter the Grand Harbour and is being berthed exclusively in the waters of Palumbo Malta Shipyard, the company said in a statement.

“We are big supporters of V-18 and we are collaborating with them on an exciting  project for this important event. We also constantly back our community’s cultural activities. We invite Mr Micallef to visit our yard so that we can better explain our operations,” a company spokeswoman said.

Palumbo Malta Shipyard said it had beat off tough competition from international yards to bring the oil rig’s business to Malta. It eventually secured a two-year contract — which expires next year — with the aim of revamping the jackup oil rig.

“We operate in a highly competitive environment in Europe — we employ more than 100 workers — and to safeguard the livelihood of our employees and their families we must constantly win contracts and attract work.”

“The oil rig’s presence in the harbour is a commitment we have undertaken, which also has positive ripple effects for its ship agents and ship suppliers,” the spokeswoman added.

The history of the Grand Harbour has always been intimately linked to maritime business and shipbuilding. And, activity is expected to increase further when this government proceeds with its vision for a maritime hub in the area formerly used by the Marsa shipbuilding,

 

“As a group, Palumbo Malta Shipyard is in line with this vision and we are working to boost economic activity in a very challenging industry.”

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