Preferred option for Malta-Gozo tunnel concessionaire is to be self-financed

9th January 2020

Transport and infrastructure minister Ian Borg stressed that the criteria are stringent, and the concessionaire would need to inspire confidence that the project is being managed in a sustainable manner.

The Government has announced the criteria required for concessionaires to bid on the Malta-Gozo tunnel project and also shed light on the procurement process.

Infrastructure Malta, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg and Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana addressed a press conference to provide more details about the requirements and process behind choosing the concessionaire.

The procurement process will take place in three broad stages: the Pre-Qualification stage – where administrative and financial checks take place; the Invitation To Participate in Dialogue stage; and the Best and Final Offer stage.

The first stage of the procurement process has been launched, with the pre-qualification questionnaire having been issued.

Interested parties have three months, until Thursday 9th April 2020, to answer the pre-qualification questionnaire to demonstrate their experience in similar tunnel developments, to show their environmental and health and safety record and to attest they have the technical capabilities and financial standing to successfully implement this project.

The Government’s preferred bid will be a concessionaire that is self-financed, where it is being envisioned that motorists will have to pay a toll to use the tunnel.

Minister Caruana praised the project, saying it will help propel and support Gozo and its people.

Minister Borg stressed that they are not inventing the wheel, with many tunnels around the world being dug under sea-beds or mountains. He commented that whoever wins the concession must inspire confidence that the project will be carried out in a thoughtful and sustainable way.

He relayed every-day stories by Gozitans who are impacted whenever the queues for the ferry are extraordinarily long or some weather condition is causing delays.

Minister Borg said that while the discussion of a permanent link between Malta and Gozo has taken place under various administrations throughout Malta’s history, never before has it reached such an advanced stage.

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Preferred option for Malta-Gozo tunnel concessionaire is to be self-financed