Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has entered into a contract with Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of four 20,150 TEU capacity Ultra Large Container Carriers.
MOL also announced that it has concluded an Memorandum of Understanding for long-term charter of two additional 20,150 TEU capacity containerships with Shoei Kisen Kaisha, headquartered in Imabari-shi, Japan. Those two containerships will be built at Imabari Shipbuilding Co., also of Japan.
MOL says that the six ships are the world’s largest among delivered and on order containerships. The vessels will measure 400 meters long by 58.8 meters wide, and have a designed draft of 14.5 meters and 16 meter load draft. The vessels will be equipped with a MAN B&W G95ME, with specifications that will enable the use LNG fuel in the future. The vessel’s will serve the Asia-Europe service.
The four ships ordered from Samsung Heavy Industries reportedly cost US$619.6 million.
Previously, Imabari Shipbuilding said in January that it had secured orders for a total of eleven 20,000 TEU capacity containerships, marking the first-ever orders for ships at or above the 20,000 TEU mark. Although Imabari did not specify which carrier placed the order, the vessels are widely believed to be the 400-meter long ships to be chartered by Evergreen Group upon delivery in 2018 and 2019. To build the ships, Imabari is in the process of constructing a large newbuilding dry dock measuring about 600m length by 80m breadth to be located on reclaimed land located next to their Marugame City Headquarters.
The MOL newbuild and charter agreements come amid revelations last week that Maersk Line is planning to end its 4-year shipbuilding hiatus with Nils S. Andersen, CEO of Maersk Group, saying that the company may focus instead on purchasing vessels smaller than the 18,000 TEU Triple-E ships it has ordered in the past.