COSCO Shipping’s Hong Kong based subsidiary OOCL has ordered a further seven 23,000TEU container ships, following its order for five vessels in March of this year.
The seven-ship order will total US$1.103 billion with each vessel costing approximately US$157.7 million. The vessels are expected to be delivered from the third quarter of 2023 through to the third quarter of 2024.
Three of the ships will be built in the Nantong yard which is a joint venture with Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), in which COSCO holds an indirect 50% stake. The four remaining vessels will be built at the Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering Co., in which COSCO holds a direct 30% stake.
Payment for the vessels will be made in five tranches, with each payment being made at selected intervals of the building process, with the major payment made upon delivery of the vessels. Some 60% of the cost of the vessels will be financed through bank loans with the remaining 40% paid through the company’s own resources.
In a statement to investors Orient and Overseas International Limited, the parent company of OOCL, said, “It is the view of the directors that the group should order the vessels, following the entering of the shipbuilding contracts for the [five] vessels ordered in March as part of the group’s long-term strategic development and growth plan, to build and deploy mega-sized vessels that bring optimal fleet structure and capacity, economy of scale to the Group that would enhance the Group’s cost competitiveness and improve operation efficiency.”