Maersk Line signed a new building order today with COSCO Shipyard Co., Ltd in Zhoushan China for seven 3,600 TEU container vessels.
The vessels will have a length of 200 m, width of 35.2m, and a 10m draft.
COSCO Shipyard and Maersk Line said that they agreed to keep the price confidential.
The order is the first step in the investment programme announced by Maersk Line. Over the next five years the company will invest USD 15 billion into vessel new building, retrofit programme, containers and other equipment.
“I am very happy to announce this new order and the first in our investment programme. Our strategy is to grow with the market and to do so we need new vessels from 2017,” says Søren Toft, COO in Maersk Line. “We expect to place additional orders during 2015.”
Maersk Line has ordered the vessels for Seago Line, its fully-owned container shipping line dedicated to short-sea services in Europe and throughout the Mediterranean region.
The vessels, built to trade in Northern Europe through sea ice, will achieve unprecedented economies of scale, according to Maersk Line.
Seago Line will deploy the vessels in the Baltic and North Sea regions. They will replace several container vessels, half the size or less of the new buildings. The vessels will sail on marine gas oil (MGO). They are therefore compliant with the SOx (Sulphur oxides) emission limits, which went into force 1 January 2015, creating the ECA (Emission Control Area) zone in Northern Europe.
The vessels will be delivered in April – November 2017. The order includes an option for two additional vessels to be declared within eight months.
It is the first time, that Maersk Line places a new building order with COSCO Shipyard. It is also the first time the shipyard will build container vessels.
“I am very confident that COSCO Shipyard, with their solid shipbuilding experience and a good track record will deliver high quality and fuel efficient vessels,” says Søren Toft.