German owner Asiatic Lloyd has ordered up to four ammonia-fuelled 7,100TEU ships from Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC), the shipyard's parent China State Shipbuilding Corporation announced on 2 May.
It is Asiatic Lloyd's first container newbuilding order since 2013, when the Bunnemann-owned outfit ordered a pair of 9,034TEU ships from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. The ship owner has a fleet of 26 second-hand container ships.
Asiatic has ordered two, which will be delivered within 2023, with two options, at US$70 million each. The vessels will be 255m in length, with a 42.8m beam, and a 12m draught.
Covid-19-related travel restrictions meant Asiatic Lloyd's representatives signed the newbuilding contract via video link on 30 April.
The remarkable recovery in container shipping demand that began in Q3 2020 continued into H1 2021 and has encouraged owners to build ships, pushing the global orderbook-to-fleet ratio from under 10% in mid-2020 to almost 17% today.