By David Robinson
A new project is currently underway in Gibraltar to improve fuelling facilities at specific berths. The initiative is designed to further enhance the Roc’s position as a leading port for the supply of tax-free fuel to yachts and superyachts.
“This is still at a commercially sensitive stage. In essence it means that fuel will be available at a larger number of berths than at present, reducing waiting times. Last year we had 299 superyachts visiting, mostly for bunkers. In the first half of 2015 we have seen over 200 yachts,” Port of Gibraltar CEO and captain Bob Sanguinetti told Superyacht Business‘ sister tittle IBI.
The project is one of several aimed at attracting more superyachts to Gibraltar and encouraging them to stay longer. Under the theme ‘Gibraltar is very much open for superyacht business’, other projects involving large investments are being made in the territory.
The government itself is investing several million pounds on a new 700-berth small boat marina close to Queensway Quay marina. This new facility, due to be completed in the autumn, will offer 680m (1,970ft) of berthing for superyachts with an 8m (26ft) depth alongside, allowing the largest superyachts to be accommodated.
There are also plans to speed up transport from the airport to superyachts using helicopters, cars or taxis. Superyacht owners that may fly in on a private jet can be on-board their vessel within 10 minutes, it is claimed.
In addition, two recently announced projects will considerably expand facilities for superyachts interested in home-porting in Gibraltar. Within the Ocean Village/Marina Bay complex, a new 10-berth superyacht facility costing between £7m and £10m has been given outline planning permission. This will cater to superyachts up to 60m (197ft) and be ready in about two years after full planning consent is obtained and construction is carried out.
The biggest-ever inward investment project in Gibraltar will be the source of most of the new berths planned for accommodating large superyachts. Called Bluewater, this £1.1bn project will be located at the Eastside reclamation site, near Catalan Bay, and include a 70-berth superyacht-only marina for yachts of 150m (493ft) or larger.
This huge project has only just been allocated to Camoren Holdings, a locally based company set up to oversee the development. Michael Crisell, managing director of Camoren, has indicted on a number of occasions that the project is fully funded but he declines to say where the funding is being sourced from.