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growth to having extra people running the	Leaving EU presents target shop to minimise the turnaround times for	“Crew changes we do very well – 5,000 crew
clearance agents, ship surveyors, “generates a figure – it’s difficult to pinpoint – of 5 –10% of Gibraltar’s [£1.77bn] GDP according to a 2015 government study; clearly much bigger than the cost to run the Port.”
Investment this year has the VTS system being upgraded – “it’s like air traffic control, but for ships” – and four high spec infrared CCTV cameras to come this autumn in a relocated GPA headquarters at Europa Point.
Other initiatives include developing regulatory standards for vessels fuelled by liquid natural gas (LNG).	“The forecast is for 10% of shipping to be LNG powered in the next 20-25 years - it’s long term, but development of the market is on-going already,” he enthuses.
Buoyed by Gibraltar’s use of LNG as a primary fuel for a new £100m quayside power station later this year, Sanguinetti observes: “It’s a bonus for us as it provides synergies between LNG being delivered for the power station and the ability to provide LNG as a bunker fuel as the market develops.” Enhanced cruise ship infrastructure to handle greater numbers and on-shore fuel storage is also under consideration with the private sector.
Cordial relations in Bay
Relations with Sanguinetti’s Spanish opposite number are “cordial” despite numerous Spanish State vessels entering British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). Then a pause before he adds: “Our primary responsibility is the safety of navigation in our busy waters and our teams work together to coordinate and de-conflict shipping movements wherever possible.
“My primary role is to provide a safe and efficient working environment for the Port and its users [within the three mile limit of BGTW],” he clarifies
He displays clear passion for his job to the extent that he irritates his wife by early morning scanning of the port area through a telescope on the deck at home.
Now Sanguinetti’s daughters (Annabel, Helena and Christina) at UK universities “will say that in their first 18 years they lived in some 11 houses and if asked where they are from, you will get a sucking of teeth and the response – ‘well we went to school in Hampshire and we lived some time	in Portsmouth, my dad’s from Gibraltar, my mum is Scottish’, and so on”, he declares.
After three years as Gibraltar’s Captain of the Port, it is Sanguinetti’s longest posting – and he has no plans to up anchor.
British Gibraltar territorial Waters surround the Rock, where its Port handled 9,000 vessels last year.
ships coming to Gibraltar.” Displaying his diplomatic side,
Sanguinetti avoids suggesting the port previously was inefficient, but is candid: “When I first joined, in my travels the feedback was people saying ‘Gibraltar is a great place, we go there a lot, but it’s congest- ed and there are delays’”.
It was a negative reputation that he has worked to change.	Ships want minimal delay, minimal fuss, he accepts. “If you are not running the operation as efficiently as you could do, it leads to delays and congestion outside, with ships slowing down, and that costs money.”
He works closely with agents and other service providers to “explain how we have changed and improved things. I found that by developing a closer relationship at conferences and face-to-face direct with ship
operators or owners, we can overcome preconceived impressions,” Sanguinetti says earnestly.
Keen to build on his predecessors’ initiatives, Sanguinetti highlights his 55-strong staff professionalism and commitment.	“It's a team effort - I can set the business direction, but my team has to get on with it and deliver”, he states, adopting a rather ship’s commander tone.
Feedback from his external visits confirmed that ships require “the widest range of services – fuel, crew changes, stores, hull cleaning, removal of waste fuel – all of which we do, but we must remain competitive across the spectrum”, he acknowledges.
“We are constrained by geography, we have a limited number of operators whose operating costs could be higher than across the [Spanish] border for example, so we need to find ways to add value to vessels calling at the Bay.” He poses the question: “If the price of fuel is the same in Gibraltar as it is in Spain, what do we need to do to make ourselves more attractive for ships to call?
members flying in and out every year – and [Gibraltar] being outside of the Schengen agreement means there is no need for a visa travelling via London; that is a service other EU countries cannot provide.”
He jumps unprompted, to the prospect of Brexit.	“The fact that we have been outside of the Customs Union, but still within the EU has given us certain advantages such as the ability to set [import] rates that affect the price of fuel. Leaving the EU, whilst bringing some challenges, also gives us the opportunity to lobby government and legislate in such a way that makes provision of shipping services more attractive”, he believes.
Sanguinetti’s target is the ship management companies that tend to be based in Singapore, Hong Kong, and one or two places in northern Europe and look after the
technical aspect of vessels – maintenance, servicing, refitting and repair work – and manpower, such as recruiting, training, promotion.
“Gibraltar has an obvious attraction in this area because we are very close to the shipping community, so if there are incentives that we could provide to attract ship management companies, we ought to consider them”, he suggests. This would fur- ther raise the profile of Gibraltar within shipping and bring some management companies closer to their own vessels - and deliver increased Port activity.
Sanguinetti has no explicit financial target set by government, other than to cover operational costs (estimated at £5.5m in 2016-17), but he aims to generate sufficient mooring and other fees to contribute towards new investment. “Equally I need to look at how much business we are facilitating more widely for Gibraltar PLC,” he says.
Warming to the subject, Sanguinetti notes the 8-900 people working directly or associated with the Port - chandlers, customs
Gibraltar International

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