South Korea’s biggest shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) said Friday it has placed orders for the construction of 20 large containerships worth $2.84 billion.
The orders are spread out among South Korea’s ‘Big Three’ shipbuilders: Hyundai Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).
The contracts follow Letter of Intents signed between HMM and the shipbuilders back in June, just a few months after the compani first confirmed its intention to place orders for the 20 eco-friendly newbuilds.
Twelve vessels are anticipated to be around 23,000 TEU capacity and eight will be 14,000 TEU, with DSME and Samsung Heavy selected to construct the 23,000 TEU vessels.
Samsung Heavy Industries confirmed Friday that it will be building five vessels total for HMM, leaving DSME building the remaining eight. Hyundai Heavy Industries will construct all eight of the 14,000 TEU ships.
Delivery of all 20 newbuilds is expected by June 2021, HMM said Friday.
HMM, currently the world’s 10th largest shipping line according to Alphaliner, has become South Korea’s flagship shipping line following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping. The company has set an ambitious goal of achieving a fleet size of 1 million TEU capacity, more than double its current capacity of around 400,000 TEU.
Funding for the newbuilds will come from the South Korean government’s Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, which recently established a $4.5 billion fund to support the nation’s ailing shipping and shipbuilding industries.