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    OSCAR goes to Wilhelmshaven

    Oscar-worthy reception for the world’s largest container ship

    It was a royal welcome for the world’s largest container ship. 250 invited guests, including Lower Saxony’s Minister for Economics, Olaf Lies, and several dozen media representatives, welcomed the MSC Oscar on its maiden port call at the EUROGATE container terminal in Wilhelmshaven. The ship docked at Wilhelmshaven at 13.00 hours en route from Bremerhaven and sailed again in the evening on its onward journey via further European ports back to the Far East.

    “For all concerned the whole thing was a bit like the Oscars. After all, the Oscars are also awarded for hard work and effort,” said Minister Lies cheerfully, adding that he was confident the container terminal in Wilhelmshaven would find its place in Europe’s port landscape. The port call of the MSC Oscar and other mega container vessels was a good signal and an important impetus for other shipping lines, importers and exporters, as well as for the region as a whole, he said.


    EUROGATE and MSC Germany joined Minister Lies in welcoming the captain of the MSC Oscar, Giuseppe Siviero, personally to Wilhelmshaven. For Siviero and his crew of 35 seamen, it was also a good day. Accompanied by just two tugboats, the MSC Oscar had made fast at the quayside after an uncomplicated manoeuvre under ideal weather conditions, where five container gantries set about discharging her cargo. “For me it’s also a great privilege to have the opportunity to sail a ship like this,” explains the experienced 56-year-old captain. From the bridge he first of all looks out over countless rows of containers before being able to see water ahead of the bow. When the MSC Oscar is travelling at her service speed of 22.8 knots, it takes the crew 25 minutes to bring her to a standstill.

    In true MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company family tradition, the MSC Oscar was named after the son of Diego Aponte, MSC’s CEO and President, and christened in South Korea in January.  The 45,300 ton steel MSC Oscar, which cost USD 140 million to build is 395 m long, 59 m wide, 73 m high with a draught of 16 m. Impressive numbers that, however, only inadequately describe the true dimensions of this giant of the seas. On a single voyage, the MSC Oscar could transport 57.7 million items of clothing if the stowage capacity of 19,224 TEUs were fully utilised. Or 1.15 million washing machines or 13.8 million solar panels – enough to supply power to 346 households.

    Nevertheless, as big as the MSC Oscar is, she is just the first ship in a whole series of builds that the South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering will deliver to MSC between now and 2016. Other container lines have also announced ambitious construction programmes for mega carriers. This trend towards ever larger vessels corresponds perfectly with the strengths of the Jade-Weser Port. “The world’s largest container ship at the container terminal with the greatest water depth, this is a positive signal for the future.  The possibility to be able to reach the port at all times independently of the tides is ideal for ultra-large container ships and provides Wilhelmshaven with a unique selling proposition,” says Emanuel Schiffer, Chairman of the EUROGATE Group Management Board.