International classification society ABS has been selected to class 11 ultra-large containerships (ULCs) for Denmark’s Maersk Line A/S.
Maersk ordered the 19,630 TEU ships from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of South Korea last month in a deal that includes options to build up to six additional vessels.
ABS was chosen to class 20 of the Triple-E containerships that Maersk ordered from the same shipyard four years ago. While the new additions will be slightly large than the first ships, Maersk Line has indicated that the central considerations of the original Triple-E’s – energy efficiency, economy of scale and the environment – will remain unchanged.
“ABS is pleased that the Maersk Group has expressed its continued confidence by classing these innovative ships with us,” says ABS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tony Nassif. “ABS offices worldwide, working in unison, are providing support and analysis for Maersk in the latest standards and international codes, including the energy efficiency standards measured and mandated by the IMO.”
Like the first generation of Triple-E containerships, Maersk hopes this second order will enhance its operational efficiencies in the Asia to Europe trade, enabling the company to maintain its market share in line with container trade volumes.
The newbuildings, which will be the largest containerships in the Maersk’s fleet, are due for delivery between April 2017 and May 2018.
ABS has providing classication services to the containership segment fo more than 50 years, and over the years has classed vessels from these ultra-large vessels to LNG-powered ones.
The eleven ULC’s are part of a five-year $15 billion investment program announced by Maersk in September 2014, which includes the construction of new ships, retrofitts, containers and other equipment.
On Wednesday, Maersk Line announced that it has ordered nine 14,000 TEU containerships from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries. Earlier this year, the company placed an order for seven 3,600 TEU feeder vessels at the COSCO Shipyard in Zhoushan China.