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VN Welcomes Largest Vessel Yet 

BA RIA-VUNG TAU - SP-PSA International Port yesterday successfully handled a trial call by a Maersk Line 352m-long container vessel, the Albert Maersk, the largest ship ever to call at a Vietnamese port, whether by length, deadweight tonnage or container capacity.

The Albert Maersk has a capacity of 109,000DWT or 8,272-TEU. The vessel called at the new port facility ahead of a likely start to the Maersk Line's new direct-call services to Europe and North America.

These new direct services were expected to benefit importers and exporters through higher service levels and more extensive connectivity, as well as provide a major stimulus to the maritime economy, said the port in a press release.

"It is a great honour for SP-PSA to handle the successful trial call of the Albert Maersk," said SaiGonPort chairman and general director Le Cong Minh. "We hope this call heralds the start of new direct shipping services for Viet Nam."

"This is a great milestone for us in Maersk Line," said Maersk Line Viet Nam & Cambodia general director Peter Smidt-Nielsen. "Viet Nam is an emerging market with significant growth as a sourcing location... We are confident that Vietnamese exporters and importers will welcome the increased opportunities when our big ships make direct calls from here to the West."

SP-PSA is a joint venture between SaiGonPort, Vinalines and PSA Viet Nam Pte Ltd, the latter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSA International Pte Ltd . SP-PSA commenced operations in May of last year and is Viet Nam's first deep-sea container terminal.

Strategically located near the mouth of the CaiMep-ThiVaiRiver, SP-PSA will be developed in two phases, with the first phase of 600m of berths with 14.5m water depth now operational. When both phases (1,200m of berths) are completed, SP-PSA will have a projected annual capacity of over two million TEU of containers.

On February 10, SP-PSA also received the 345m Queen Mary II cruise ship from Cunard Line, with 2,600 passengers on board. The Queen Mary II had been the longest vessel to call at a Vietnamese port prior to the arrival of the Albert Maersk.
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