Maritime authorities say the region’s second ferry terminal will become operational between February and May next year after follow-up arrangements in the coming months.
Meanwhile, officials say ferry services will remain preferential to travelers from the Pearl River Delta in the short run even after the erection of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
The new Taipa Ferry Terminal covers the total area of 25 standard football pitches.
Today, government officials have showed journalists around the seven-storey facility, which cost some 3.8 billion patacas.
The brand new terminal offers a total of 16 berths for ferries and three multi-functional berths for other kinds of vessels.
Aside from government service offices and a commercial area, sitting on the first floor of the departure hall are 42 counters for luggage check-in and ticket selling.
Authorities say this hall could accommodate at least 400 waiting passengers.
Besides, the ferry terminal is also equipped with an underground public parking lot that takes up two floors.
Outside the building also lies a parking area for public transport.
The top of the complex also provides six helipads for helicopters’ landing and takeoff, with two floors underneath serving as a waiting and check-in area for passengers.
The new ferry terminal, according to maritime authorities, will come into service next February at the earliest.
“The Marine and Water Bureau wishes to spend six to nine months on follow-up arrangements. I expect it to come after February, as I said, these works could be finished within six to nine months before the ferry terminal is open to the public”, said Chou Chi Tak, acting director of the Marine and Water Bureau.
Authorities say the existing temporary ferry terminal will also be demolished to be used as auxiliary facility for fire protection and oil pumping.
Despite the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge looming on the horizon, the Marine and Water Bureau is confident that the expected volume of seaborne passengers through this ferry terminal would be met.
The floor area of the Taipa Ferry Terminal is four times bigger than the initial design size. Authorities said they expect a maximum of 400 thousand arrivals and departures per day after the ferry terminal comes into operation.
Over 80 immigration checkpoints are set up in both the arrival and departure zones, with each hall having over 20 electronic passages to address possible enormous passenger flow in the future.(Macau News / TDM)