UASC Exercises Option with HHI for LNG-Ready Vessel
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) announced that the final option for one additional 18,000 TEU vessel has been exercised bringing the total order to 17 ships including eleven 14,000 TEU vessels and six 18,000 TEU vessels. The order has been placed with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea and is the largest in UASC’s history, worth over US$ 2 billion for all 17 ships.
UASC hosted a signing ceremony in Dubai where the newbuilding contract was signed by Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Chairman of the UASC Board of Directors, and by Y. J. Ji of HHI. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from UASC’s Executive Management and senior management from HHI to mark the auspicious occasion.
Salem Ali Al Zaabi remarked, “With the exercising of this final purchase option for one 18,000 TEU vessel, UASC completes its current newbuilding order in full. Today thus marks another important milestone in UASC’s transformation and growth story. Among our other assets, these vessels and UASC’s enhanced partnership agreements enable the company to improve its competitiveness in the key trade lane between Asia and Europe where the 18,000 TEU vessels will be deployed. UASC is committed to improve its competitive position in all key trades in which it operates and especially in other key trades where the company’s existing 13,500 TEU and under-construction 14,000 TEU vessels will be deployed. With deliveries of the 17 vessels scheduled to begin in late 2014, the company is now fully engaged in implementing its growth strategy. In an environment where fuel oil remains the largest cost driver in the industry, our cutting-edge vessel designs have been developed with a clear focus on improving cost efficiency and enhancing environmental friendliness. This brings a clear benefit to our customers and UASC is proud to be a leader in the industry in these respects. All of these new ships will enjoy the most advanced fuel economy in the industry including, among others, being delivered as ‘LNG ready’; a first in the industry for vessels of this size.”
Ji observed, “The completion of this significant newbuilding order between UASC and HHI is an important step in our four decade long relationship. HHI is proud to be supporting UASC in the construction of these advanced vessel designs.”
The 14,000 TEU and 18,000 TEU newbuildings are scheduled for delivery from late 2014 and from the first half of 2015, respectively.