Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine has announced plans to order 12 x 20,000 TEU and 8 x 14,000 TEU eco-friendly mega containerships.
The carrier said it is ordering the new tonnage as it a step towards its “Capacity of 1 Million TEU” target, and pursuant to the Korean government’s “five Year plan for rebuilding Korean shipping”.
“Considering the factors including the recent increase in new shipbuilding price and dock availability, HMM will start on selection of shipyards by sending out its Request for Proposal (RFP) to shipbuilding companies on April 10” HMM stated.
To comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations that reduce the maximum sulphur content of bunker fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5% on January 1, 2020, “HMM will opt for scrubber installation or LNG bunkering for all the newbuilding vessels after thorough discussions with the finally selected shipbuilder”.
HMM wants to move fast, and it noted that if the shipbuilding process proceeds smoothly, “all the new vessels will be sequentially delivered in the right time to prepare for the 2020 environmental regulations.”
Though industry analysts have repeatedly called for carriers to show restraint on fleet expansion, HMM believes mega ships are the future, and does not want to be left behind. “Through this new shipbuilding, HMM will be able to secure stronger fleet competitiveness with the benefit of economies of scale. Furthermore, it will help HMM to form a stable basis for making profits in the intensely competitive market”.
The carrier said as well as ordering new tonnage it is “going to set a new mid-long term plan to enhance its global competitiveness to promote business normalization & shareholder value, and to create added value between shipping and logistics for mutual growth”.