With an original completion date set for 2018, there are growing fears in Gibraltar that the £1.1bn Blue Water development, the largest-ever inward investment project for the territory, will be delayed. By David Robinson
It is now more than a year since the £1.1bn Blue Water project was first announced and negotiations between the developers, Camoren Holdings, and the Gibraltar government are still ongoing. The project, located on the east side of the Rock, is a large mixed-use development planned to include a 70-berth superyacht-only marina.
A government spokesman confirmed to SB that the negotiations are still in progress and indicated that no further information would be released until they are completed.
With an original completion date set for 2018, there are growing fears in Gibraltar that this development, the largest-ever inward investment project for the territory, will be delayed.
An initial step in the project was for Camoren to pay the Gibraltar government £83m to acquire the 38-hectare reclaimed site, but as far as SB can ascertain this has still not been paid.
Michael Crisell, managing director, told SB: “Negotiations about Blue Water are still ongoing and I don’t know when they might be completed. Work is going on at the site with the storing of rubble that will be used for the marina breakwater.”
Camoren has indicated on more than once occasion that the project is fully funded, but the company has declined to give more details. The marina is proposed to be protected by a large breakwater with piled berths inside.
Camoren previously indicated to SB that the average size of berth in the marina would be 59.1m (194ft), but it is thought likely that this will be reduced to nearer 55m (180ft). The marina would be able to berth superyachts up to 165m (541ft) and may be able to squeeze in up to 185m (607ft).
Since Blue Water was announced, Mid-Harbour Marina in the port area has been completed with over 500m (1,640ft) of deep-water berthing for the largest superyachts afloat. Earlier this month, some 20 superyachts were berthed in the port or anchored off in one weekend alone.
Gibraltar announced at a conference last year the launch of a new strategy to attract more superyachts to the territory, which offers the benefit of tax-free fuel. The strategy’s aim is to not only to attract more superyachts, but to encourage them to stay longer. Generally yachts call in just to take on fuel.
As part of this strategy, a new guide to yacht facilities in Gibraltar is due to be published early next year.