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    VLADIVOSTOK, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Far-Eastern Sea Shipping Line (DVMP) and the shipyards in the Polish city of Szczecin signed a contract for building two container-carrying motor ships.

    As the shipping company's directorate said on Wednesday, a possibility of building a third craft of this kind is also stipulated for in the contract. In keeping with the contract, its laying-down must be announced before February 15, 2005.

    Each Polish-made motor vessel of this kind will be able to carry 1,730 20-foot containers on board.

    Two container-carriers must form part of the DVMP fleet at the end of 2007. It is planned to put the third motorship into service at the beginning of 2008.

    The DVMP has long been actively cooperating with the Szczecin builders. As many as six container-carrying motor vessels have been built at the Polish shipyards on the Shipping Line's order since 1994.

    In the meanwhile, the DVMP and the Russian Railways have agreed to establish a joint venture for transporting international containers going from Asia to Europe in transit through Russia.

    The joint venture of the largest shipping company of Russia and of the world's largest railway company will presumably start operating by fall 2004.

    In the founders' opinion, the establishment of the joint venture will make it possible not only to coordinate the increasing transit container flow on the Asia - Europe - Asia shipping-railway line but also to minimize the time of the reloading of containers from ships' holds onto the platforms of freight trains.

    The fact that the flow of cargoes from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region to Europe in transit across Russia has been stably growing also rouses optimism about successful implementation of the project.

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