Neptune Orient Lines said on Wednesday it placed an order for 10 new container ships with capacities of 8,400 20-foot-equivalent units. The company also signed a letter of intent for two new 10,700-TEU vessels.
NOL said the total cost of the 12 ship orders involved is approximately $1.2 billion.
By The Numbers: NOL's APL Container Operations.
The company announced Tuesday it had secured a $150 million term loan from Overseas Chinese Banking and ING Bank. NOL plans to use the loan to finance ships it ordered in 2007, according to NOL spokesman Michael Zampa.
NOL, which refrained from ordering new ships during the shipping boom that ended in 2008, ordered the new ships for its container line, APL. The ships will be delivered in 2013 and 2014.
NOL said it is investing in new vessels to meet future growth needs and to replace vessels with charter agreements that will expire in the next few years.
The ships will be constructed by South Korea-based Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The two organizations signed a contract for construction of the 8,400-TEU vessels in a formal ceremony today.
NOL posted a first-quarter 2010 loss of $98 million, compared to the loss of $245 million a year earlier, but said at the time of the announcement in May that trends were pointing to a return to profitability for 2010.
It said it was beginning to see the effect of a gradually improving economy and will be helped by rising rates this year.
It reported Monday that APL’s year-to-date container volume was 39 percent higher than last year and that average revenue per 40-foot container equivalent unit for the year to date was 11 percent higher than last year.
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