The Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative this morning celebrated its 15th anniversary with the inauguration of a new €900,000 pilot boat. The 15-metre pilot boat, Juliet I, is the co-operative’s eighth pilot boat and will help the Malta Maritime Pilots maintain their impeccable level of service.
Addressing a press conference at Pinto Wharf, the President of the Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative, Chief Pilot Jesmond Mifsud said that the future success of our ports necessitates an ongoing investment as well as continuous upgrades. Fierce competition from rival ports and the constantly changing requirements of the maritime industry make this investment vital. Since its inception in 2003, the co-operative maintained a 100% efficiency track record with the pilot boat service never stopping or failing. This was the result of a huge investment over the years. In 2017, the co-operative affected more than 9,350 pilotage services in the Maltese Ports.
Mifsud said that in the past years, containerships have doubled their carrying capacity. Ultra-large containerships carrying over 20,000 TEU’s are now handled in Maltese ports on a regular basis.
“Keeping in mind Malta’s limited size and resources we must all be proud of this success story. There are many ports in larger countries that envy this success. In today’s competitive port industry each party involved must provide an optimal chain of service. It takes one weak link for visiting ships to opt for another port.”
The investment done by the Malta Maritime Pilots Co-operative goes further than the investment in pilot boats. Works are currently underway on the new training facility in Ħal-Far, a €3.5 million investment branded as MaritimeMT. This facility will provide the Maltese Pilots and people who work in the maritime industry with various training opportunities using state-of-the-art simulators supplied by the Dutch company Marin. The investment will also contribute to the continuous updating of Port Safety Studies relating to Malta’s busiest ports. MaritimeMT will also create new training opportunities for individuals aiming to start a maritime career, especially in the superyacht sector as well as land-based maritime jobs.
Capt. Mifsud said that the 16-member co-operative is also investing in human resources and is currently employing 65 persons.
Chief Pilot Mifsud attributed this success to the co-operation between all parties involved: The Maritime Pilots, Transport Malta, Tug Malta, the Mooring Men as well as all terminals and shipping agents.
“We are proud of our contribution to this vital industry in Malta. We are committing ourselves to invest further in this sector; this is also an investment in the Maltese economy.”
Capt. Mifsud thanked Minister Ian Borg who was always available to personally discuss any difficulties or concerns that the pilots or the port industry might have.