Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MSC Ship is First Container Vessel for New Middle East Super Port

14,000 TEU Box Carrier Marks Official Opening
Shipping News Feature
QATAR – Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) marked the official opening of the newly constructed Hamad Port Container Terminal 1, with the first ship to call, a 14,000 TEU vessel. At the request of Qatar Ports Management Company, MSC Esthi sailed into the Port in time for the long awaited opening ceremony on December 1, celebrating the completion of the first phase of Qatar’s $7.8 billion port, which will initially see capacity of 2 million TEU.

Hamad Port, located south of capital Doha, is still far from completion with both Container Terminals 2 and 3 scheduled to come into service by 2020, though once finished the port will have a collective handling capacity of 6 million TEUs, plus an overall area coverage of some 20 square kilometres. The new regional hub which completely replaces the Port of Doha, will also include a host of other facilities, all of which were highlighted in our previous coverage. These include the 110 metre high port control tower which will literally oversee all cargo handling activities, and vehicle and vessel movements. Biju John, General Manager for Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Qatar, said:

“MSC is delighted to be participating in this special occasion, and to be the first line to bring such a large vessel to the Port. We enjoy a very strong relationship with the Port and the community and have been very pleased to be at the centre of the considerable growth and development which is continuing to take place in Qatar.”

Developments in the country move on apace, despite criticism from some quarters over Qatar’s human rights record. In anticipation of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Qatar has already seen construction start on eight new stadiums, while a new airport opened in 2014, and the new Doha Metro is set for a phased completion in 2020 and then 2030.