CMES inks LoI for construction of methanol-powered car carriers

State-run shipping giant China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) revealed earlier today that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the construction of up to six dual-fuel methanol-powered Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC).

The deal, signed with China Merchants Industry Holdings, stipulates the construction of two firm plus four optional 9,000 CEU vessels. Under the terms of the agreement, the first two newbuilds are expected for delivery no later than 2025, while the optional ships, if ordered, are slated for delivery in 2026.

The LoI will serve as the basis for the two sides to figure out further details of the cooperation as CMES looks to accelerate the expansion of its RORO business on the global market.

The shipping major said that the total contract price for the ships should not exceed $597 million.

In terms of design, the PCTCs will form part of the world’s largest car carrier fleet available on the market and would be integrated with advanced technological solutions. As such, they would be able to adapt to various long-distance routes between Europe, America, and Africa, the company said.

It is planned for the ships’ main and auxiliary engines to be able to run on methanol. At the same time, the ships are planned to be fitted with energy-saving equipment such as shaft generators as well as shore power connections.

CMES launched its China Merchants Guangzhou RoRo Shipping Company Limited (CMRORO) business in 2019 together with Guangzhou Automobile Group Business Co. The company holds 70% share in the joint venture while GAC holds the remaining 30%. As for China Merchants Shenzhen RoRo Shipping Company Limited, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CMRORO. Established in 1984, it is one of the first companies to be involved in Ro-Ro logistics in China.