The CMA CGM PEGASUS, symbol of the strong commitment of CMA CGM Group in Malta, was christened today at Malta Freeport in the presence of the Hon Lawrence Gonzi, Prime Minister of Malta, and Mrs Catherine Gonzi, his wife, godmother of the vessel. This vessel is registered in Valetta under the Maltese flag.
(Malta Freeport – Friday, October 1st, 2010) – CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping Group is pleased to announce the christening of the 11,400-TEU* CMA CGM PEGASUS, at Malta Freeport Terminal, Port of Marsaxlokk.
This giant of the seas is 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 CMA CGM PEGASUS is the seventh vessel of the Group to be registered under the Maltese flag. A decision that confirms the strong ties existing between Malta and the CMA CGM Group, which has been present on the island for more than ten years.
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, making Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd (MFTL) a major container transhipment center in the West Mediterranean.
With ten ocean and fifteen feeder services, up to 35 CMA CGM vessels call at Malta every week. MFTL is the main hub for the CMA CGM Group in the region.
CMA CGM Group has been operating MFTL – a 100% subsidiary – since October 2004 and has been granted an extension of its concession by the Maltese Authorities to 65 years in 2008. This historic agreement opened up new prospects for development of the CMA CGM Group in the Mediterranean. It marked the beginning of an ambitious programme of expansion and modernisation of the port’s infrastructure aiming at improving the competitiveness of MFTL even further and answering the growing demand of its customers.
This programme includes the following developments:
Ø Increase of the water depth of Terminal Two North Quay and South Quay, Terminal One North Quay and the fairway from 15.5 to 17 meters,
Ø Increase of yard space by 133,000 square metres in four phases,
Ø Purchase of new state-of the-art equipment amongst which Quayside Cranes which are capable of handling twin 40’ containers
Ø Upgrade the Quayside Cranes’ Rails on Terminal One and Terminal Two.
Ø Extension of the West Quay of Terminal One by 132 metres.
The main objective of this programme is to upgrade the efficiency of port operations, accommodate larger container vessels, and increase the capacity for container stacking whilst also attaining fast vessel turnaround times.
MFTL currently employs 743 people (+200 from 2004), and will be able to handle up to 3.4 million TEU (compared to 1.44 million TEU in 2004) by 2017. It can now accommodate the largest containerships in the world, such as the “CMA CGM CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS”, 13,800-TEU.
“This christening is testimony to the fact that Malta is indeed part of the 21st century”, said Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. “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”, he added.
*TEU = twenty-foot equivalent unit