Friday, October 1, 2010

Largest Ever Maltese Container Ship Christened

Latest Addition to CMA CGM Fleet Continues Trend
Shipping News Feature

MALTA – Today saw French giants CMA CGM christen the latest edition to their fleet, the largest containership ever to sail under the Maltese flag, a European flag which is one of the safest in the world (according to the “Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control” criteria). The 11,400 TEU CMA CGM Pegasus was named today at a ceremony in Malta Freeport in the presence of the Hon Lawrence Gonzi, Prime Minister of Malta,and his wife and godmother of the vessel, Catherine.

Pegasus is the seventh ship to be registered under the Maltese flag by the French company who have had representation for over a decade and for the past six years they have owned and operated Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd (MFTL) as a 100% owned subsidiary. Malta enjoys a strategic location on the shortest possible route between the Suez Canal and the Gibraltar Straits, at the crossroads of some of the world’s greatest shipping routes serving Asia, the Middle East, the Aegean, Adriatic and Black Seas along with the European Continent.

Up to 35 CMA CGM vessels call at Malta every week and after MTFL was granted an extension of its concession by the Maltese Authorities to 65 years in 2008 the company have embarked on an ambitious programme of expansion and modernisation of the port’s infrastructure including dredging to permit larger vessels, cranes to handle twin 40’ boxes and extending the handling areas.

When completed (in 2017) MTFL say they will be capable of handling up to 3.4 million TEU annually and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi was clearly delighted with progress saying:

“This christening is testimony to the fact that Malta is indeed part of the 21st century.The ongoing investment by CMA CGM evidences the strength of the Maltese economy and its future prospects. This investment is in line with Malta’s objective of becoming a regional transportation and logistics hub and I thank CMA CGM for its commitment in improving the Freeport’s infrastructure”