Client: Transport Malta
Start / Finish Dates: May 2009 – January 2011
The Grand Harbour is one of four seaports in the Maltese Islands that form part of the Trans European Network for Transport (TEN-T), as identified in the Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment (TINA) carried out in 2002. This prioritises the port for upgrading to ensure the Islands’ future economic and social needs are met.
The project was undertaken as part of the TEN-T upgrading of port infrastructure. It involved undertaking two separate Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) related to Barriera Wharf and Fuel Wharf.
The Scheme involved the provision of a new twin berth cruise passenger terminal aligned with the Valletta Waterfront. Scheme components include the construction of new berths, development along the shoreline, transport and access interventions and construction of ancillary facilities.
The Scheme involved the extension of the quay to link it to the existing quay at Laboratory Wharf, dredging works, the reclamation of the inlet at Ras Hanzir, excavation of part of the Corradino Hill escarpment to provide additional terminal operational/storage space, and levelling of the terminal area.
Both EIAs addressed potential impacts in relation to: geo-environment; landscape and visual amenity; archaeology and cultural heritage; noise; marine ecology; and sediment and water quality.
The potential key impacts arising from the Barriera Wharf element of the project were identified as:
- impacts on geology due to the dredging works and the burial of geomorphological features;
- landscape and visual amenity impacts due to the use of the berth by cruise liners; and
- cultural heritage impacts due to loss / removal of maritime heritage features from the quay area.
The potential key impacts arising from the Fuel Wharf element of the project were identified as:
- impacts on geology due to the dredging and excavation works;
- landscape and visual amenity impacts due to the excavation of the escarpment;
- cultural heritage impacts due to loss / removal of military heritage features; and
- ecology impacts due to the dredging works.
The Barriera EIA was delivered in June 2010 and the Fuel Wharf EIA in January 2011.
Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Grand Harbour, Cruise facilities, TEN-T, Ports