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.