HMM splashes $1.57 bn on twelve LNG-ready boxships

South Korean shipping heavyweight HMM has signed newbuilding contracts with compatriot builders Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for twelve 13,000 TEU container vessels, worth $ 1.57 billion.

HMM Nuri
Illustration/HMM Nuri; Image credit: HMM

Under the agreement, DSME and HHI will build six vessels, respectively, scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2024. All ships will be installed with hybrid scrubbers and designed to be LNG-ready.

“Our newly ordered containerships will be fitted with the latest energy-efficient technologies. We expect these ships to give us strong environmental credentials, as well as to provide us with the capacity and flexibility to get our customers’ cargo to the right place at the right time,” an HMM official said.

The order comes as a confirmation of newbuilding plans HMM revealed to Offshore Energy – Green Marine about a month ago.

HMM is announcing new orders as it welcomes LNG-ready 16,000 TEU-class containerships to its fleet, ordered back in 2018 from Hyundai Heavy Industries.

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The move is being made at a time of a major turnaround for the container shipping sector stirring up the appetite for newbuilds.

New orders have picked up to 1.1 mil TEU since Q3 2020 or 4.6% of the fleet, and in May alone there have been 50 new orders for containerships, however all for sizes >10,000 TEU, data from VesselsValue shows.

According to BIMCO, it has been a truly record-breaking start to the year for containership contracting, with 2.2 million TEU being ordered, more than 12 times higher than the 184,254 TEU ordered in the first five months of 2020.

Owners predominantly opted for Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS) which have a capacity of 15,000 TEU or higher. 89 of these have been ordered with an average capacity of 16,622 TEU.