Speculation has grown that a new Malta-Sicily ferry connection will soon be available after a ferry boat branded Ragusa Xpress was seen in a local shipyard.

Last January, WhosWho.mt revealed that Paul Gauci, one of Malta’s leading entrepreneurs and the majority shareholder of PG plc which owns and operates Pavi supermarket and the PAMA shopping village, was in negotiations to acquire the popular and sought-after Mediterranean marina at the southern Sicilian town of Marina di Ragusa, known as Porto Turistico.

Informed sources told this newsroom that the acquisition would be made via Mr Gauci’s investment company, PG Group. At the time, Mr Gauci refused to comment, and now, 10 months later, fresh reports have emerged that Mr Gauci is currently leading a group if investors to finalise the acquisition of Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa.

Informed sources said that Mr Gauci, beyond plans to develop the area around the marina into more commercial and residential real estate, was also planning a ferry connection between Malta and Marina di Ragusa.

Indeed, images showed a purchased vessel, the San Giorgio, before it was re-painted and rebranded (pictured below). On Tuesday, the Times of Malta showed the same vessel, moored in a Marsa shipyard, with a new paintjob displaying a Ragusa Xpress logo.


The vessel is understood to accommodate some 400 passengers and up to 18 small cars.

Repeated requests for comment by PG plc and Mr Gauci were left unanswered by the time of writing.

A new Malta-Sicily service would compete with the current Virtu Ferries service, which runs between Malta and Pozzallo. A second service, by Ponte Ferries, runs between Malta and Augusta, but has been suspended for the winter months.

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Helena Grech

Helena is an avid follower of current affairs, leading her to take an interest in economics, politics and the environment. She is quite content to spend time in nature, and is often found having noisy debates with friends.