Today Tuesday 2nd December 2008, Malta Freeport Terminals proudly welcomed on its maiden voyage ‘CMA CGM Vela'. With a capacity of 11,000 TEU, an overall length of 347.5 metres and a breadth of 45.20 metres, ‘CMA CGM Vela' has set a new Terminal record for the largest containership to call at Malta Freeport and it is also currently the French shipping line's largest vessel size in its fleet. The vessel which was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd. has a deadweight tonnage of 130,700 tonnes, 700 reefer plugs, a service speed of 24 knots and requires a maximum draft of 15.5 metres. 'CMA CGM Vela', which berthed alongside the South Quay of Terminal Two is being deployed on the French Asia Line 1 (FAL1) service between the Far East and Europe. The mega-containership called at the ports of Khorfakkan, Chiwan, Pusan, Kwangyang, Dalian, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Port Kelang, Tangier Med, Southampton, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre before calling at Malta Freeport. The French carrier is now operating the FAL1 service together with Hyundai Merchant Marine and Maersk Line and a total of ten vessels are being deployed, seven by CMA CGM, two by Hyundai Merchant Marine and one by Maersk Line.
The trend for vessels with this configuration is clearly not set to change. Given the developments taking place within the containerisation industry towards ever larger and cost-effective ships, Malta Freeport Terminals is investing heavily in its facilities, both in its equipment and infrastructure, in order to effectively meet the growing demands of mega-sized containerships for many years to come. Indeed the past months have been of paramount importance for Malta Freeport which is witnessing the realisation of various investments crucial for the Company's ability to attain a high rhythm of activity on all fronts of its operations. In line with these developments, the Port has also stepped up its performance level to match the latest requirements of the industry. When all the works will be completed, Malta Freeport Terminals will be increasing its quay length on both Terminals from the present operational length of 2 kilometres to over 3 kilometres.
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