Maersk Line has announced plans to build seven new 3,600 teu ships, following an agreement with COSCO Shipyard Co, as part of the company’s new-build investment programme.
“Our strategy is to grow with the market and to do so we need new vessels from 2017. We expect to place additional orders this year,” said Søren Toft, chief operating officer at Maersk Line.
The order was signed in Zhoushan, China where plans were confirmed for the 200 m long, 35.2 m wide and 10 m draught vessels that will be delivered between April and November 2017. The order includes an option for two additional vessels to be declared within eight months; a valuation for the build has not yet been revealed.
Over the next five years, Maersk Line will invest US$15bn in new container vessels and equipment. This initial order is for the Maersk-owned Seago Line, which will trade the ships in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Baltic regions, replacing several smaller ships.
The vessels will use marine gas oil (MGO) and therefore be compliant with the SOx (Sulphur oxides) emission limits, which came into force 1 January 2015, creating the ECA (Emission Control Area) zone in Northern Europe.
The project marks the first time that Maersk Line has placed a new building order with COSCO. Søren Toft said: “I am very confident that COSCO Shipyard, with its solid shipbuilding experience and a good track record will deliver high quality and fuel efficient vessels.”