Maersk Line Limited (MLL) completed the reflagging under the United States registry of Maersk Illinois, its newest multipurpose heavy-lift vessel. The ship is one of two sister vessels that MLL acquired in September 2011 and will sail for Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier (Maersk-Rickmers), providing breakbulk and project cargo service for shippers requiring US flag service. Maersk-Rickmers was jointly formed for this purpose by MLL and Rickmers-Linie (America).

"We are pleased to see this reflagging process completed, allowing us to introduce our modern ship and bring new value to the U.S. flag project cargo market," said Dave Harriss, director of ship management and chartering at MLL. "We are now looking forward to bringing the second ships, Maersk Texas, under the U.S. flag fleet as we continue to build the service."

Maersk Illinois completed its maiden voyage in Mobile, Alabama where its reflagging was performed. The 19,600 DWT ship is 148 meters long and can carry 20,000 cubic meters of cargo. With two onboard cargo cranes with a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons, she is suited for handling of a wide variety of heavy and bulky cargo such as generators, locomotives, wind and gas turbines, hazardous materials and the like. The vessel will make port calls on inducement around the globe.

Maersk Illinois loaded its first U.S. flag impelled cargo immediately after the reflagging was completed on December 30, 2011 and set sail for Ghana with its new crew of U.S. mariners from American Maritime Officers and Seafarers International Union.

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