United Arab Shipping Co. has placed a $1.4 billion order for five 18,000-TEU container ships and five 14,000-TEU vessels with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The larger ships are due for delivery to the Kuwait-based carrier starting in late 2014, and delivery of the 14,000-TEU ships will begin in the first half of 2015, the shipyard said.
The contract also includes options for an additional 18,000-TEU ship and six more 14,000-TEU vessels.
Hyundai Heavy Industries President and COO O. H. Kim noted that the vessels will be the first large container ships ready to use liquid natural gas as a fuel at delivery, Gulf News reports. The use of LNG is expected to make the ships more environmentally friendly and less costly to operate.
UASC is the third carrier to order ships with capacities of 18,000 or more 20-foot-equivalent units. Maersk Line ordered 20 18,270-TEU vessels two years ago, the first of which is currently on its maiden voyage, and China Shipping Container Line ordered five 18,400-TEU container ships in May.
The UASC ships will operate on the Europe-Asia trade in a joint service with CSCL.