More Triple-E's Ordered at DSME

Thursday July 11, 2013

Hong Kong Asset Management (HKAM) has ordered three Triple-E class container ships from South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME), two people said to be familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday.

DSME were reported to value the order, which it described as being from an unspecified "Asian ship owner," at 481 billion won ($422 million).

The vessels are to be delivered by July 2015 and could be chartered on a long-term basis to Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), according to one of the sources.

HKAM and MSC were said to have declined to comment on the order.

"HKAM is the likely owner and the order price clearly indicates that it involves Triple-Es," one of the sources said.

At a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), the Triple-E class containerships are the largest in the world, and Lars Jensen, chief executive of Denmark-based SeaIntel Maritime Analysis said in May that "all 20 big major container players will have to choose to either order similar ships or find themselves out of the Europe-Asia trade."

To date four companies have either ordered, or are close to ordering, the super-sized box ships.

Maersk Line has ordered 20 Triple-E class containerships and the first of which, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller, is scheduled to load its first containers on July 15 in Busan, South Korea, but will initially operate below capacity while port infrastructure catches up to handle the extra cargo.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) says it is fulfilling the order for five Triple-E's announced in April by China Shipping Container Lines Co. Ltd. (CSCL), while United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) is in negotiations over an order for five of the vessels.

A time-lapse video of a Maersk Triple-E construction was released in March.