MOL to Sail Six 20,000 TEU Boxships on Asia-Europe Route by 2017

Tuesday March 3, 2015

Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced plans to begin operating six new 20,000 TEU containerships on the Asia-Europe route beginning in 2017.

Four of the ships will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), while the remaining two will be chartered on a long-term basis from Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd and built at Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

The newbuilds will be equipped with additional energy-saving technologies to reduce fuel consumption and cost in comparison to the 14,000 TEU ships that MOL currently operates.

In addition, the new vessels look likely to be able to be converted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, with MOL adding that "the main engines have the specifications which enable LNG use as fuel in the future remodeling."

According to an IHS Maritime 360 report, there had previously been speculation that Greek owner Costamare would order the four newbuilds for long-term charter to MOL. 

However, MOL said that the company is still negotiating with tonnage providers, and is "now pursuing the possibility of chartering from the owner(s) if we receive favourable proposals."

The 20,000 TEU mega-ships are currently the world's largest containerships on order. 

It was reported early this year that MOL was making plans to order the massive vessels in order to revitalise its containership business.