MARCH 26, 2015 — Maersk Line today signed a newbuilding order with COSCO Shipyard Co., Ltd in Zhoushan China. The order is for seven 3,600 TEU container ships. The vessels will have a length of 200 m, width of 35.2 m, and a 10 m draft. They will be delivered in April - November 2017. The order includes an option for two additional vessels to be declared within eight months.
The shipbuilder and Maersk Line have agreed to keep the price confidential.
The order is the first step in a five year investment program that will see Maersk Line put $15 billion into vessel newbuildings, retrofits, containers and other equipment. Maersk Line says the program will enable it to add capacity in line with growth in global container shipping demand as well as replace less efficient chartered tonnage.
"I am very happy to announce this new order and the first in our investment program. Our strategy is to grow with the market and to do so we need new vessels from 2017," says Søren Toft, COO in Maersk Line. "We expect to place additional orders during 2015."
Maersk Line has ordered the vessels for Seago Line, its fully-owned container shipping line dedicated to short-sea services in Europe and throughout the Mediterranean region. The vessels, built to trade in Northern Europe through sea ice, will achieve unprecedented economies of scale, replacing several ships of half their size or less.
They will provide Seago Line short-sea and feeder customers with competitive services, including in the winter. Seago Line will deploy the vessels in the Baltic and North Sea regions.
The vessels will sail on marine gas oil (MGO), making them compliant with the SOx (sulfur oxides) emission limits that went into force January 1, 2015, creating the ECA (Emission Control Area) zone in Northern Europe.
This Maersk Line's first newbuilding order with COSCO Shipyard. It is also the first time the shipyard will build container vessels. However, the Maersk Group has worked with COSCO Shipbuilding Group in the past. Maersk Line also uses the shipyard for vessel retrofits and drydocking.
"I am very confident that COSCO Shipyard, with their solid shipbuilding experience and a good track record will deliver high quality and fuel efficient vessels," says Mr. Toft.