The huge Pac On Ferry Terminal in Taipa, which was officially inaugurated on Thursday, will start operating on June 1 when all the operations of the adjacent Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal will be transferred to the new terminal, the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) announced.
The bureau hosted an official inauguration ceremony for the mega terminal. Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario unveiled the airport-sized terminal’s inaugural plaque Thursday morning.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony, Rosario underlined the terminal’s airport-sized dimension and various expansion projects during the 12-year construction period.
The new terminal has a total of 16 berths for ferries with a carrying capacity of 400 passengers and three “multi-purpose” berths for vessels with a carrying capacity of 1,200 passengers, as well as a helipad. There were just eight berths in the original design of the terminal.
DSAMA Director Susanna Wong Soi Man said in a speech during the ceremony that the operation of the new terminal would help promote the city’s economic co-operation with Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.
Wong also said that eight berths would be in use initially.
Speaking to reporters after the opening ceremony, Wong said that the other eight berths would be operational after the completion of the new terminal’s “third phase” construction, which will include the demolition of the adjacent Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal. She did not elaborate on the three “multi-purpose” berths.
Wong said she expected the “third phase” construction to take one to two years.
According to the bureau’s website, the new terminal has a total of 127 immigration counters, 41 of which are e-channels, in the departure hall and arrival hall.
The terminal has routes to a number of ferry terminals in Hong Kong, including ferry services to Hong Kong International Airport, as well as two terminals in Shenzhen. The terminal has 36 desks for ferry passengers to check in their luggage, according to the bureau’s website.
The terminal provides 1,000 car parking spaces and has 42 ferry ticket counters, according to the website.
The final construction cost has reached 3.8 billion patacas, government officials have said.
Construction of the terminal started in 2005 and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2007. The budget for the project back in 2005 was 580 million patacas. The government had repeatedly expanded the project since it was designed well over a decade ago.
The plot of land on which the new terminal is located covers about 200,000 square metres, while the original plan was for just 50,000 square metres. The current terminal’s size equals 25 standard football fields, officials have said. The government has said that the terminal’s maximum passenger capacity is 400,000 per day.