The world's largest container ships will be operating for China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) by the end of 2006. Through Seaspan Container Line, CSCL will charter up to eight new 9,500 teu ships that will be deployed on the China/Europe trade. Four of the ships were ordered in mid- October by Vancouver-based Seaspan for long-term charter to CSCL. South Korean shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries was awarded the contract for an estimated US$80m per vessel. Seaspan has an option with the shipbuilder to buy a further four of the ships, which it has to confirm by the end of this year.
A source at CSCL indicated that the eight ships would be operated as one string on the Far East/Europe trade. They are expected to call at deepwater ports in China such as Ningbo and Yantian, which are capable of handling such large vessels. At 9,500 teu, the new ships are almost 15 per cent larger than any other container ship either on order or in service. A shipyard source suggested that while China could be capable of building these ships in the near future, CSCL chose a Korean yard because of their proven expertise in building huge container ships.
Shipyard nets more tanker contracts Dalian New Shipyard is continuing to win new orders from overseas shipowners for oil tankers that meet stringent safety specifications through improved construction techniques, including coated tanks and double hull construction.
In October, Danish shipowner Torm ordered two more 105,000-tonne deadweight vessels for delivery in 2007. This brought to four the number of latest-generation tankers booked by Torm at Dalian this year. Brokers said the price of the new buildings was around US$37m per vessel.
In September, Dalian New Shipyard won two new building contracts for 110,000- tonne deadweight tankers from Danish shipping giant AP Moller for delivery in 2006.
Few other shipyards in Asia have managed to secure new building contracts for the latest-generation tankers apart from Dalian, which has won acclaim for its ability to build sophisticated oil carriers for both overseas and domestic owners.