South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has signed formal contracts for its twenty eco-friendly mega containerships with three shipyards.
Under the deals, signed on September 28, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will build seven and five 23,000 TEU containerships, respectively, which are expected for delivery in the second quarter of 2020.
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will construct eight 15,000 TEU containerships to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021.
The long-awaited order for the containership giants first surfaced in December last year. At the time, HMM unveiled plans to start a selection of shipyards by sending out its Request for Proposal (RFP) to shipbuilding companies in April 2018.
In order to make the ships compliant with the IMO’s Sulfur Cap, HMM said it would consider fitting the ships with scrubbers or LNG-fuelled engines. The decision would be made following discussions with shipbuilders.
“If the shipbuilding process proceeds smoothly followed by the selection of the shipbuilder, signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and finalizing its contract, all the new vessels will be sequentially delivered in the right time to prepare for the 2020 environmental regulations,” HMM earlier said.
The fleet investment, aimed at boosting the shipping line’s competitiveness, is part of South Korean government’s 5 Year Plan for Rebuilding Korean Shipping.