Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is said to be on the brink of winning a potential order for three 14,500 TEU container ships from Iranian shipping company IRISL.
IRISL, which is reportedly in talks with the HHI and some other yards in both Korea and China, is expected to pay USD 125 million per ship, according to Korean media.
HHI is undoubtedly keen on securing the order as it aims to spur order intake which proved to be very difficult as the year started to unfold, resuming the ordering slump from 2015.
Namely, the first quarter of the year saw HHI’s affiliate shipbuilders bag only 6 new orders, out of the total of nine Korean builders managed to clinch since the year started.
In particular, the move is likely to seek to revive the contracts IRISL had with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard dating back from 2008. However, the deals were suspended following the imposing of sanctions against Iran, which had around 40 ships on order abroad at the time.
IRISL had 27 vessels on order at South Korean yards Hyundai Mipo and SPP Shipbuilding, according to Clarksons. At Hyundai Mipo, IRISL has a total of 17 vessels on order, including ten 37,500 dwt chemical and oil tankers, three 56,000 dwt bulk carriers and four 37,000 dwt bulk carriers.
At SPP Shipbuilding, IRISL has a total of ten 35,000 dwt handysize bulkers on order, priced at USD 40m each.
Due to the sanctions, both Korean and Chinese shipyards decided to sell the units they had finished to different owners as the original owner was facing problems with payment.
Now that the sanctions are lifted again, the country’s shipping companies are expected to start ordering new capacity to modernize their aging fleets.
As World Maritime News reported earlier, Iran is seeking an investment worth USD 2.5 billion just to upgrade its oil tanker fleet as it gears up to restore pre-sanction shipping links.
World Maritime News Staff