Felixstowe tests terminal for giant container ships

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The Port of Felixstowe has started the testing phase of its deep-water container terminal development, Berths 8&9.

The 14,100 TEU CSCL Star will berth today (18th February) at the container terminal during its maiden voyage from Asia.

A limited number of discharge moves will be performed before the vessel moves to its regular berth at the port’s Trinity Terminal to complete cargo operations.

Berths 8&9, which are the first phase of the Felixstowe South development, will provide an additional 730 metres of deep-water quay capable of accommodating the world’s largest container ships when it formally opens later in 2011.

Hutchison Ports chief David Gledhill said: “There is an increasing trend towards ultra-large container vessels on many services operating between the Far East and Europe and it is essential the UK has the right facilities to accommodate these ships.

“Berths 8&9 will give us that capability and, allied to the unrivalled distribution options available from Felixstowe, will consolidate our position as the UK’s number one port.

“There is a lot of equipment to be tested and we need to be sure that all the new systems are resilient before the terminal is formally opened. It is, however, great to see the first mega-vessel alongside the only UK terminal that can handle it fully laden.”

The CSCL Star is the first of five new ultra-large container ships joining the CSCL fleet in 2011.

The vessel has a length of 366 metres, and a width of 51.2 metres, or 20 rows of containers across the deck. It has a gross tonnage of 150,853, and a draught of 14.5 metres.

The CSCL Star will be deployed on the AEX1 Service, with a rotation of: Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Port of Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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