Raymond Ceccaldi, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ajaccio and South Corsica says the Chamber has ambitions for Ajaccio to become a turnaround port and is investing in the construction of a new quay, projecting into the harbour for use by cruiseships on one side (9mtr draught) and as a marina on the other, and a new conference centre situated alongside the existing passenger terminal in the heart of the city. Two airports closeby, plus fast ferry routes with the French mainland, offer passenger transfer connections for future turnaround business says Ceccaldi.
The conference centre, which will be ready in April 2003, will double as a passenger terminal if required. Construction of a 260mtr long quay is due to begin early next year. An additional mooring buoy will also be built, enabling ships up to 300mtr in length to berth. Port director, Don Paul Grimaldi told Seatrade Insider the 15m Euro berth investment has already been approved but progress has been held up by the transfer of autonomy from national to local regions. 'Finalisation of the plans are now underway and the pier will go to tender by early next year with a view to completion within 14 months,' says Grimaldi.
At Porto Vecchio, where larger vessels prefer to anchor offshore and use tenders, an additional mooring buoy will be built next year and the Chamber is also studying extending the quay at Propriano to welcome larger ships, although plans have not yet been finalised.