CHINA has expanded the construction project for the ultra large box ships with the news that Yangzijiang Shipbuilding would also build two 24,000 TEU containerships. The order came as part of a flurry of year-end activity for the shipyard, which is the largest non-government Chinese shipbuilder.
The contract to build two of the ultra large container ships represents a major step up for the yard, which has recently been building ships with a capacity between 10,000 and 14,000 TEU. Yangzijiang offered no additional details on the ultra large containerships except to say that they would have a loading capacity equivalent to 24,232 TEU.
The shipyard also announced that options for two 690 FEU deck carriers had become effective. Jointly designed with Tiger Gas, the vessels are part of an order announced in June 2020 that consisted of two ships and options for eight additional vessels. These vessels are equipped with dual-fuel engines, capable of carrying heavy-lift cargo on the Yangzi River and ocean-going.
Yangzijiang placed the total value of these four orders at US$350 million, noting that it was part of a solid year for the company especially due to the global circumstances in 2020. The group secured orders in 2020 for a total of 53 vessels with a value of approximately $1.77 billion, reports The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In addition, the shipyard recently announced that it had entered into an agreement with SITC International Holdings to build six 2,600 TEU containerships. The contract also included options for four additional vessels, exercisable in pairs of two. The six ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
The latest order from SITC expands the relationship with the shipyard. SITC had previously placed an order for six 1,800 TEU containerships, with an option for six more, in addition to orders for four 2,400 TEU ships and one 2,700 TEU containership. All of the orders were placed between August and November 2020.
The Yangzijiang Shipbuilding group operates four shipyards along China's Yangtze River. They build a broad range of commercial vessels, including containerships, bulk carriers, and LNG vessels. The ultra large containerships will be the largest vessels the group has built. Previously, they participated in a large project for Vale building six Valemax iron ore carriers.
Amid a remarkable rebound in container freight rates, mainline operators are now in the market for new and bigger ships.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) has signed a letter of intent with Imabari Shipbuilding's shipowning affiliate Shoei Kisen Kaisha to take six 24,000 TEU newbuildings on a 15-year period charter while Hapag-Lloyd has ordered six 23,500 TEU newbuildings from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
Cosco Shipping's Hong Kong based subsidiary OOCL has also ordered a dozen 23,000 TEU container ships, at affiliated shipbuilders Dalian Cosco KHI Ship Engineering and Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering.