Following orders for twelve 16,200 TEU methanol-powered containerships placed in August 2021 (eight ships) and January 2022 (four ships), Maersk finally turned to Korean builder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to order a further six ships. . of a similar design, powered by methanol.
According to a stock market filing by HHI’s parent group KSOE, the orders are valued at a total of KRW 1,620.1 billion.
At the contractually stipulated exchange rate, this translates into a price of USD 188.55 M per ship. The amount per vessel represents a 6.5% premium on the USD 177.00 M that Maersk has agreed to pay for the first orders.
According to KSOE, all six ships will be delivered by the end of 2025. As such, they will fall behind the first twelve units that are scheduled to be delivered between February 2024 and June 2025, with deliveries expected at approximately monthly intervals.
Maersk is believed to have a further six options for sister ships which, if confirmed, would come online in 2026.
Maersk initially described the first twelve HHI vessels as “around 16,000 teu” ships. In contrast to this, the Danish carrier now refers to the last six vessels as “around 17,000 teu” units.
Alphaliner understands that the entire series of 18 ships is based on the same ship design on which Maersk and the yard have made some improvements to improve capacity since the first orders were announced.
It remains to be confirmed if the initial ships will come as an ‘MK-1’ variant and later ship as an upgraded ‘MK2’ variant, or if the upgrades could still be adapted for the entire 18-ship series.
Until more information can be obtained, Alphaliner regards all of these ships as sister ships, despite some minor differences that could appear in the series.
The recent orders not only underscore Maersk’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral and using methanol as its alternative fuel of choice, but also show that the carrier is betting on sub-megamax vessels as the cornerstones of its future fleet. at least for now.
Maersk Group’s order book now stands at 34 ships and 395,200 TEUs. For the world’s second largest container line, this is quite moderate and Maersk is only eighth in this regard after MSC, CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen, ONE, ZIM and Hapag-Lloyd.
Maersk said its new vessels were not intended to aggressively expand its fleet, but instead the new environmentally friendly tonnage would replace existing capacity.
The Copenhagen-based airline reconfirmed its strategy of keeping fleet capacity at a maximum of 4.3 Mteu.