Hong Kong-based container carrier Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) held a christening ceremony for its newest 21,413 TEU containership, OOCL United Kingdom, at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in South Korea on September 27.
Constructed by SHI, OOCL United Kingdom is the fourth in a series of six ships ordered by the company from the Korean shipyard. In May this year, the first ship from the batch, the 21,413 TEU OOCL Hong Kong, was added to the company’s fleet. OOCL Hong Kong was followed by OOCL Germany and OOCL Japan.
“Following our ‘M Class’ of 13,208 TEU vessels also built here at SHI, we are delighted to be adding these … titans at sea, ‘G Class’ containerships, into our fleet,” Alan Tung, Chief Financial Officer of OOCL, commented.
Featuring a length of 399.9 meters and a width of 58.8 meters, the ultra large container vessel (ULCV) has a gross tonnage of 199,000 tons.
Together with its sister ships, OOCL United Kingdom follows the same port rotation to call Felixstowe as the first European port of call during its maiden voyage.
The company said that 27 years ago, in 1990, the largest containership in the world at the time also celebrated its first European port of call on its maiden voyage to Felixstowe. That was the vessel named OOCL Hope, a 3,500 TEU containership. To put things further into perspective, OOCL United Kingdom is six times larger or 600% greater in capacity but burns only 60% more fuel per day.
In thanking SHI and commenting on the business partnership with the shipyard, Tung remarked: “The shipbuilding process is a complicated one. From hull form design, machinery selection, fabrication to assembly, the shipyard must be able to bring a concept on paper to become a technically sound and economically viable product for the shipowner, the shipyard, the makers and sub-contractors. Adding to the fact that many aspects of this class of vessels are in fact record-breaking, be it size or machinery capacity and output, I think SHI should be very proud that it has achieved this goal…”
In his ceremonial address, Tung also thanked Koichi Onaka, Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB), for supporting OOCL’s fleet improvement that started with the financing work on two OOCL ‘SX Class’ vessels which eventually culminated in “making the OOCL United Kingdom a success.”
Image Courtesy: OOCL