NOVEMBER 1, 2014—The first two of seven 9,300 TEU containerships for Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores (CSAV) were recently christened at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in Geoje, South Korea. The ceremony was attended by CSAV Chairman Francisco Pérez Mackenna, and CEO Oscar Hasbún.
The containerships, the Copiapó and Cautín, are the largest yet in the CSAV fleet.
“The integration of these vessels is part of the company’s restructuring strategy which included an increase on its own fleet. In this context the company made a significant capital injection for the acquisition of assets,” says Hasbún.
Merger pending with Hapag-Lloyd
Back in April, CSAV signed a merger agreement with Hapag-Lloyd that if approved by regulatory bodies will create the world’s fourth largest container shipping company. The new Hapag-Lloyd would have about 200 vessels, with an annual transport volume of 7.5 million TEU and turnover of about 9 billion EUROs. The EU approved the merger this past September. Once the merger is complete there is a distinct possibility that additional capital investments will be made into the fleet.
Meanwhile, these state-of-the-art newbuilds will allow CSAV “to reduce fuel consumption costs significantly,” says Hasbun. “Their incorporation will also replace part of the chartered vessels, so by the end of 2015 about 50% of our fleet will be owned by CSAV, one of the most modern and efficient of the industry.”
The ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Chile to Korea, Hernán Brantes, and his wife, Rosanna Bellolio; SHI Executive Vice President J.K. Kim, and his wife, In-Shin Kim. Both were the sponsors of the new vessels.
The CSAV containerships will feature excellent fuel consumption—about 7% less than the vessels received from 2011 and around 25% lower than the average of vessels of this size currently in operation in the industry. They will also have a 4.5% increase in the cargo capacity.
These containerships have a slot capacity of 9,300 TEUs and can reach speeds of 10 to 22 knots at maximum load. They are fitted with 1,400 plugs for refrigerated containers and their Twin Island design allows for maximum use of space, increasing the capacity of cargo on deck.
MV Copiapó will be delivered on November 26 and will start operations in Shanghai on the trade between Asian ports and the Persian Gulf. The MV Cautín meanwhile, will join the fleet on December 18 and will operate on the service linking the ports of Northern Europe with the East Coast of South America.