The largest containership ever to berth in Malta called at Malta Freeport Terminals on Thursday.

Spanning the length of four football pitches - 400 metres - and possessing the capability to carry more than 24,000 TEU containers, the MSC Mette was gracefully guided to the terminal two north quay where five huge quayside cranes were waiting to complete 4,250 container moves. 

Freeport CEO Alex Montebello said: “It’s a very proud moment for all of us at the Freeport when we break new ground and we look forward to many more moments like this as we prepare to embark on the expansion of terminal two in our continuous drive to make Malta Freeport one of the best equipped and most technically-advanced in the Mediterranean region.”

Malta Freeport Terminals announced the terminal two expansion in April, after signing a landmark agreement with the government, which will further enhance its capability to handle the mega containerships that dominate the current maritime industry.

Built by the Jiangnan Shipyard, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the MSC Mette was delivered in July. 

The mega containership incorporates a range of innovative features that reduce its environmental impact while enhancing operational efficiency, including a small bulbous bow, large diameter propellers, and energy-saving ducts. 

It is fitted with an air lubrication system that minimises drag on the hull. Experts estimate that this technology will provide energy savings of 3% to 4%, leading to a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions.

The freeport, which invested more than €320m in infrastructure, new equipment and technology, currently offers services to 116 ports worldwide – more than 50 of which are in the Mediterranean – on 15 mainline and several feeder routes operated by major shipping lines. 

The facility has also been named by Lloyds List among the top 10 ports in the world in terms of growth in percentage terms.

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