One of Sicily’s main marinas is now owned by a prominent Maltese businessman who also plans to introduce a daily catamaran service between the two islands.

Paul Gauci has secured the Marina di Ragusa in an undisclosed multi-million deal, which will see the embellishment of the 750-berth marina, according to sources.

The conclusion of the three-year negotiations will see the marina and yard shift into the hands of Porto Turistico Holding Ltd.

Gauci has already invested in a catamaran, which will take 430 passengers and 21 cars, or 65 motorcycles. The aim is to introduce a daily service of the one hour 45-minute commute by summer.

Construction of the catamaran terminals is planned to start as soon as permits are issued.

Several Maltese boat owners, including Prime Minister Robert Abela, are known to be regular visitors to the marina, constructed between 2007-2009 where the total investment at the time was around €75 million.

The new catamaran, which will offer a daily service by the summer.The new catamaran, which will offer a daily service by the summer.

Gauci is the founder and main shareholder of PG Group, which runs the PAVI and PAMA supermarkets as well as the Zara brand in Malta.

When contacted, Gauci said he had no comment to make for the time being.

The Marina di Ragusa is a sprawling protected harbour that is located just a 40-minute drive from the major port of the province of Ragusa, in Pozzallo, where Virtù Ferries has held an established Malta to Sicily sea route for many years.

A second operator, Ponte Ferries, had introduced a new route to Sicily last year, with plans to dock in Augusta. However, following a beleaguered start and delays in trips, the company announced it would cease operating the ferry service to Augusta in winter, offering no explanation for the planned pause nor when it planned to restart the service.

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