Fast ferry to arrive tomorrow

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 12:45

The National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) says the date of arrival for the new fast ferry, HSC Jean de la Valette, is tomorrow - Wednesday 19th June, 2019, good weather permitting.

A statement by NIDCO says that upon its arrival at the port in Port-of-Spain, the vessel will undergo routine inspection and clearance by Customs and Excise.

The statement says that the process of acquiring relevant approvals and training of local staff as required for the vessel’s operation in the inter-island service between Trinidad and Tobago will subsequently commence.

The Jean De La Val­lette (JDLV) de­part­ed Spain en route to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and To­ba­go last Friday local time.

The vessel is be­ing leased at a cost of 34,500 Eu­ros or TT$263,580 per day.

It was sourced from Mal­ta and was leased from Vir­tu Fer­ries, whose man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Fran­cis Portel­li of the par­ent com­pa­ny Vir­tu Hold­ings had been named in a huge oil scan­dal in Mal­ta, in­volv­ing al­le­ga­tions of mon­ey laun­der­ing and bribery.

Al­though the Op­po­si­tion claimed the pro­cure­ment of the ves­sel was ques­tion­able be­cause of the is­sues in­volv­ing Portel­li, NID­CO Chair­man Es­ther Farmer de­fend­ed the con­tract say­ing Portel­li’s court mat­ter was not rel­e­vant to the pro­cure­ment process. Farmer told the me­dia that NID­CO “deals with the le­gal­i­ty of some­thing, not the con­cept.”

A crew from Mal­ta will op­er­ate the ves­sel.