United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has exercised its final option for one additional 18,000 TEU vessel, bringing the total order to 17 ships including eleven 14,000 TEU vessels and six 18,000 TEU vessels. The order has been placed with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea and is the largest in UASC’s history, worth over US$ 2 billion for all 17 ships. All vessels are prepped for operation using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, an option that will be increasingly exercised as LNG bunkering infrastructure is implemented worldwide.
UASC says the order features vessels that will be amongst the largest, most technologically advanced, and most environmentally friendly container vessels ever built. At the signing ceremony, His Excellency Mr. Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Chairman of the UASC Board of Directors, remarked, “With the exercising of this final purchase option for one 18,000 TEU vessel, UASC completes its current newbuilding order in full,” adding that deliveries of the 17 vessels are scheduled to begin in late 2014.
“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. This brings a clear benefit to our customers and UASC is proud to be a leader in the industry in these respects. All of these new ships will enjoy the most advanced fuel economy in the industry including, among others, being delivered as ‘LNG ready’; a first in the industry for vessels of this size.”