New Inner Harbour ferry terminal on its way


 
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Issue 256, Page 1 & 5
Word count: 638
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The new Inner Harbour terminal, which was financed by Pier 16 Property Development Ltd as part of a development deal it struck with the government, has been completed and is “hoped” to be in operation within this month, a maritime official said yesterday.

The property and management rights will remain fully owned by the SAR government without any involvement of the corporate.

The Maritime Administration yesterday organised a site tour in which facilities of the Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal (Pier No. 11A) were introduced to the media.

According to chief of Infrastructure and Anti-pollution Division, Irene Tong Iok-Peng, the Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal, which has been operating ferry services between the Inner Harbour and three neighbouring mainland cities for more than two decades, will very soon move to the new complex about two blocks away, along the same street.

The three sailing routes connect the peninsula with Zhuhai’s Waichai, Shenzhen’s Shekou as well as the city of Jiangmen.

Ms Tong said all the present trip prices and the operator, Yuet Tung Shipping Co. Ltd, will remain unchanged, adding that the move was about replacing the Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal (Pier No. 14) and transferring it to another location as “part of the developer’s construction project”.

Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal in Rua das Lorchas is situated next to the newly opened Ponte 16 Resort Hotel.

In early 2007, a dispute between Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal and Pier 16 Property Development Ltd took place. Police were called in when constructors cut-off the maritime company from the port when it set up construction fencing.

The problems began back in 2005 when the government granted the land parcels in the Inner Harbour area comprising piers number 12 to 20 to Pier 16 Property Development Ltd for its resort hotel project. The project impacted on Yuet Tung terminal’s operation and its two properties.

In the land concession agreement, a condition stated Pier 16 was to finance the construction of a new ferry terminal in order to guarantee the continuous operation of Yuet Tung Shipping.

Ms Tong said, however, a compromise had already been reached with the maritime company, involving the Customs, Public Security Police’s Immigration Affairs Department, Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau, Public Security Forces Affairs Bureau and the Health Bureau.

Once the new terminal is in official operation, Ms Tong said the old terminal would be simultaneously closed.

However, she denied having any information about the future development of the site, citing it was the project of a private developer and the Maritime Administration was only responsible for ensuring the move of the terminal would not affect the sailing schedule and the public.

Facilities and surface area were enhanced at the new passenger terminal with increased berths and customs counters, as well as a newly-added department lounge and three elevators for senior and physically disadvantaged people.

The site occupies about 900 square metres which consists of a three-storey, 368-square-metre passenger terminal and a 550-square-metre landing platform where three berths are available.

Customs counters at the departure hall will increase by two to six, while those at the arrival hall remain at six.

Arrivals up 30 percent

Ms Tong said the improved ferry terminal would help boost the passenger capacity which saw a significant jump over the past years.

Yuet Tung Ferry Terminal received a total of 888,000 arrivals and departures in 2007, a rise of more than 30 per cent compared with the previous year, which saw 680,000 passengers use the facility, she added.

During the period of Lunar New Year between February 2 and February 13, the terminal saw a record of 36,800 arrivals and departures.

At present, 34, 12 and two ferries are operated daily to and from Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Jiangmen respectively.

Capacity of the ferries varies between 100 and 200 passengers depending on the day and season.

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