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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Port Of Marsaxlokk, Malta

Port of Marsaxlokk (Malta Freeport)  is located on the shores of the Marsaxlokk Bay on the southeastern tip of the island nation of Malta. Malta Freeport is the commercial port for the island and for the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, also one of the most beautiful and quaint seaside locations on the island.

About 10 kilometers south of Malta’s other major port, the Port of Valletta, Marsaxlokk is a major player on Mediterranean ocean-going commercial trade routes. Combining container handling with industrial storage, Malta Freeport is well-known for its no-nonsense business culture and lack of procedural roadblocks.


Home to over three thousand people, the village of Marsaxlokk was used by the ancient seafaring Phoenicians to anchor their ships, and it was the first landing point when the Turkish fleet began the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. The garrison at the 17th Century Fort San Lucjan thwarted a Turkish landing in 1614 (it is now home to the University of Malta’s marine science laboratory). In 1798, French troops disembarked at Marsaxlokk, and remains of the 18th Century fortifications can still be seen. In 1989, US President George Herbert Walker Bush met at Mikhail Gorbachev at Marsaxlokk Bay to discuss the end of the Cold War.

Malta Freeport was established in 1988, and it has grown tremendously since then. Today, it is a major transshipment center for the Mediterranean region.

In 1998, Malta Freeport undertook an organizational restructuring that was completed in 2001. The restructuring greatly improved the port’s operations. Today, Malta Freeport Corporation Ltd. is a landlord and the authority over the Freeport zone. Operating companies have taken over other port activities.
Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd. was created in 2001 as the only operator of the container terminals and warehouse facilities, making clear the distinction between port authority and port operator.

In 2004, the Malta government let a 30-year concession to CMA CGM, a leading worldwide container shipping company, to operate and develop Malta Freeport Terminals. In 2008, the concession was extended to 65 years, with the understanding that Malta Freeport Terminals will continue to be a common-user facility.

 

Malta Freeport Corporation Ltd. is the port authority for Malta Freeport, and Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd. is responsible for overseeing port operations. Internationally recognized for the quality of service for the high volume of containers it handles, Malta Freeport enjoys international recognition from global shipping lines and other ports. In 2004, Malta Freeport handled 1.5 million TEUs of containerized cargo.
In a clearly important strategic position in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta Freeport has developed the solid infrastructure, outstanding facilities, and state-of-the-art technology to provide the highest standard of service to its customers.

Malta Freeport has several important projects underway to expand capacity and improve productivity so it can maintain its competitive edge in Mediterranean container traffic. The port has acquired five super post-Panamax quayside cranes that have capacity to handle up to 24 containers across the vessel. Infrastructure work on Terminal One includes fitting for rails to accommodate a rail span of 30 meters. Malta Freeport has also purchased a variety of heavy-load quayside equipment and heavy-lift trucks and tractors to expedite cargo handling in the port. At the same time, Malta Freeport is increasing its terminal capacity by developing an additional 100 thousand square meters of land to complement the new Main Gate facility.


Malta Freeport is a gateway to the European Union trade bloc, and it provides a new border inspection post with phytosanitary and veterinary laboratories to ensure goods are processed quickly and efficiently.
Terminal One at Malta Freeport contains the North Quay and the West Quay as well as the terminal facilities. The North Quay is 1000 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters, and it is equipped with seven post-Panamax quayside cranes. The West Quay is 168 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters. Terminal One facilities cover an area of 263.6 thousand square meters. They include 5741 ground slots and 272 reefer points. Currently, an additional 160 thousand square meters of land is being developed for an expansion of the Terminal One yard, increasing ground slots by 3576 and providing a magazine area to support cargo volumes at Terminal Two.

Malta Freeport’s Terminal Two contains the North Quay, South Quay, a ro-ro berth, and West Quay as well as the terminal facilities. The North Quay is 480 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters, and it is equipped with four post-Panamax quayside cranes. The South Quay is 660 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters, and it has four super post-Panamax quayside cranes. The roll-on/roll-off berth at the Malta Freeport is 200 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters. Terminal Two’s West Quay is 118 meters long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters. The terminal facilities cover an area of almost 211 thousand square meters and contain 4294 ground slots and 384 reefer points.

Malta Freeport’s Distripark facilities include ten general-purposes warehouses, each of which covers 2400 square meters and includes a thousand square meters of covered space. Services adjacent to the warehouses include potable water, foul water drains, electricity, telephone, and data points. Planned developments include an additional 18 warehouses, each covering a thousand square meters, and an open area of about 800 square meters.

The Malta Freeport’s Oil Terminal has tank capacity for 359 thousand cubic meters (or 2.3 million barrels). With three jetties, the terminal contains 18 tanks ranging from five- to 35-thousand cubic meters with floating roofs and internal floaters. The terminal can handle tankers with draft up to 15.8 meters and up to 120 thousand DWT. Oiltanking Malta Ltd. may build add berthing facilities and its fourth tank field in Malta Freeport to increase storage capacity by another 150 thousand cubic meters.

Malta Freeport Center facilities, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, include executive office space for lease, a 60-person conference room, exhibition areas, syndicate rooms, training center facilities, and a fully-equipped canteen as well as ample parking.

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