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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Procurement commenced for future of Channel Islands sea connectivity

16 January 2024

The Government of Jersey and States of Guernsey have begun the first stage of a process for procuring a new long-term operating agreement for freight and passenger ferry services. 

The first stage – which involves market testing and follows a period of comprehensive discussion between two of the Channel Islands on the future provision of sea connectivity – comes with the confidence that there is a contestable market for the provision of sea connectivity. 

The market testing also comes during the winding down period of the incumbent's current agreement, which ends in March 2025, with the desire for both Islands to offer one market and one opportunity for interested bidders. 

The Minister for Sustainable Economic Development, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said: “The reason that we are going through this process is to ensure that we secure the best possible freight and passenger services for the Channel Islands. 

“Condor has an operating agreement with Jersey, and a memorandum of understanding with Guernsey to provide our sea connectivity: 98% of goods consumed in Jersey arrive by sea, so every Islander and every Island business is reliant on these services. We are in the winding down period of the current operating agreement, which ends in 2025. This is, therefore, the right time to look at what all operators in the market believe they can deliver in terms of resilience, reliability, passenger experience and sustainability. 

“This procurement is an open and competitive process, and we strongly encourage interest and engagement from all ferry operator parties within this initial market testing phase." 

Guernsey's President of the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Neil Inder, said: “Sea connectivity is absolutely vital for the Channel Islands, and it is clear to both Islands that in order to get the best outcomes for our community, our economy and our visitors that we must work in lockstep. 

“We are starting this process now in order to make sure it's completed in good time for when the current agreement comes to an end. We will welcome competitive submissions from prospective operators, including of course the current and long-standing operator Condor. The priority is of course ensuring the best possible freight and passenger services for the Channel Islands market are secured. 

"Deputy Morel and I are fully committed to working together through this process, and securing the best outcomes we can get for the Channel Islands as a whole."

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