Junta de Andalucia pulls the plug on port extension of Marbella

THE contract to extend the Port of Marbella has been terminated. The Ministry of Works and Housing, operating through the Andalucian Ports Authority, has initiated proceedings to terminate the public works concession intended to extend Marbella’s La Bajadilla port. 

The decision to end the joint-venture agreement between Qatari Sheik Al Thani, the owner of Malaga Football Club; Marbella City Council; and the Marbella Port Authority, was taken “after the failure of the contractors, Nasir Bin Abdullah & Sons SL, to meet their contractual obligations, without the slightest justification, and after repeated requests for information.” 

The contract, signed on December 1 2011, has been breached on five counts. Initially the consortium should have been constituted as a corporate body in order to undertake a public works concession. 

The Ports Agency granted several extensions to this deadline. A fine of €30,000 has led to further acrimony and delay. Secondly, the plans for the operating licence, submitted on the date they were due, were the same draft outlines that had been presented at the tender stage. They lacked sufficient detail for a licence to be issued.

A three month extension and a €25,000 fine resulted, and to date detailed plans have not been re-submitted. Thirdly the annual operator’s fee of €750,000 has not been paid for the last two years.

Marbella City Hall has said that the Junta de Andalucia “must” offer some alternative rather than just terminating the contract. The Mayor, Angeles Muñoz, during a visit to Dubai with the Costa del Sol Tourism Board, said that she would attempt to restore contact with the Sheikh. 

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