French shipping major CMA CGM appears to be laying the groundwork for further fleet rejuvenation with a fresh order for up to twelve 14,000 TEU containerships said to be in the making.
The company has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for six firm plus six optional vessels set for delivery in 2020, Allied Shipping Research said in its latest report.
Under the contract, CMA CGM has an option to fit the ships with dual-fuel engines, the report claims.
The price of the ships was not disclosed.
When approached by World Maritime News CMA CGM said it did not want to comment on the report.
The French company was among the first companies to break the boxship ordering silence in 2017, which lasted for almost two years, with a mega-order for nine LNG-fulled 22,000 TEU containerships announced in September 2017.
Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) have been contracted to build the containerships under a USD 1.2 billion contract.
The first ships from the order are scheduled to come into service from the end of 2019.
According to Alphaliner, additional orders are expected to be announced in the coming weeks by containership owners and carriers as they look to renew their fleets.
The fleet rejuvenation is being pursued ahead of the anticipated impact of the new environmental regulations including the 2020 Sulfur cap and the Ballast Water Management Convention.
Major liners, including Maersk Line and Evergreen Line, have added newbuilding capacity over the past couple of weeks.
Furthermore, Taiwanese shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation and Korean shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine are expected to announce new orders as well.
World Maritime News Staff