CMA CGM plans to bolster its fleet with nine new ultra-large container vessels, according to Chinese media outlet China Daily.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co has confirmed it received a letter of intent from the French carrier for an order of the 22,000 teu vessels, and the shipbuilders will be responsible for their construction alongside sister yard Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co.
However, the final order is subject to board approval from both sides.
Jin Peng, secretary-general of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), said: “Major Chinese shipyards and heavy industry manufacturers are keen to acquire European and US maritime design and research firms, because this is a big part of their tactics to gain high-end technologies to produce core components.”
If built the ships will become the world’s largest container vessels, overtaking the 21, 413 teu OOCL Hong Kong.
Each ship could cost around US$160m to build and will have a service life between 25 and 30 years, according to the Shanghai Ship and Shipping Research Institute.