United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) has signed a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries to have the Korean shipyard build it five 18,000-TEU ships and five 14,000-TEU ships.
The order includes options for one additional 18,000-TEU vessel and six additional 14,000-TEU ships.
The 18,000-TEU ships are scheduled for delivery beginning in the first half of 2015, and the 14,000-TEU ships beginning late next year. The company said the ships have the option to be fueled with liquified natural gas.
Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, a board director, said “we have looked critically at what it will take to ensure a successful and sustainable future for UASC, and are making significant investments in order to enable the company to achieve its objectives. With our previous investment in nine 13,500-TEU vessels, we have successfully established UASC’s fleet as one of the youngest and most environmentally friendly in the world. Today’s order builds on that foundation and takes UASC’s future fleet to the next level.”
President and Chief Executive Officer Jorn Hinge said the ships will improve UASC's competitiveness in the key trade lane between Asia and Europe where it plans to deploy the 18,000-TEU vessels.
"Furthermore, we believe UASC will also improve its position in its other key trades through the deployment of the 13,500- and 14,000-TEU vessels. In an environment where fuel oil remains the largest cost driver in the industry, our cutting-edge vessel designs have been developed with a clear focus on improving cost efficiency and enhancing environmental friendliness. These vessels will also be the first large container vessels that will be 'LNG ready' at delivery,” Hinge said.
UASC was formed in 1976 by six countries in the Middle East - Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and
the United Arab Emirates. - Chris Dupin