Largest container ship berths in Johor

Behemoth of the seas: The Maersk McKinney Moller berthed at Tanjung Pelepas on its way to Rotterdam.

GELANG PATAH, Malaysia - Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship and first Triple-E class vessel, made a call at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) here on its maiden voyage from South Korea to Europe.

PTP was the vessel's last port of call in Asia before it journeys to Rotterdam in The Netherlands today.

The vessel, owned by the Maersk Line, was made by South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and costs a whopping US$190 million (S$240.17 million).

The ship, one of 20 such vessels in the world, can hold up to 18,000 twenty-foot containers at any one time. It also holds the world's record deadweight of 165,000 tonnes.

The vessel towers at 73m tall, weighs 60,000 tonnes, stretches 400m long - about 70m longer and five times heavier than France's Eiffel Tower.

The Danish shipping company's country manager for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Bjarne Foldager, said the vessel was also the most energy-efficient ship in the world.

"The ship's innovative design and technological features help reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50 per cent for every container it moves compared to the industry average on Asia-Europe trade," he said during a tour of the ship here yesterday.

He said the ship's range was called Triple-E because it had the three Es - energy-efficient, economy of scale and environmentally improved to reduce 35 per cent of fuel consumption.

"The ship is made of 98 per cent steel and it is possible to recycle up to 95 per cent of the ship's main components," said Foldager, adding that the ship's lifespan was about 25 to 30 years.

He said four more Triple-E vessels would be delivered this year while the remaining ships would be delivered in 2014 and 2015.

PTP chief executive officer Glen Hilton said the port was equipped to handle Triple-E vessels, adding that PTP, as one of the ports of call for the world's largest container vessel, was a testament to Maersk's confidence in it.

"We are also investing in new infrastructure and equipment, specifically designed to accommodate the new generation of container vessels of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers and beyond," he said.

The ship is scheduled to arrive at Rotterdam on Aug 16 and on its eastbound voyage back into Asia, it will call at Singapore on Sept 27.