Hyundai Merchant Marine has issued a request for proposal to shipbuilders for 20 mega container vessels.
According to HMM, it plans to place an order for 12 ships with a capacity of more than 20,000 TEUs and eight with a capacity of 14,000 TEUs, to be deployed on the Asia-North Europe and Asia-US East Coast trade lanes respectively.
“Through the acquisition of the most technologically advanced mega container ships, we can strengthen cost competitiveness and react rapidly to the international environmental regulations,” said an HMM official. “HMM will do its best to become a global top carrier to meet the expectations of related organizations and shareholders.”
The announcement is in line with the South Korean government’s five-year plan to rebuild the country’s shipping industry. HMM is now the country’s largest container shipping line, after the demise of Hanjin Shipping in 2017.
To comply with the International Maritime Organization’s reduction of the sulphur content limit in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5% on January 1, 2020, the new vessels will be equipped with scrubbers or use LNG.
A letter of intent will be signed by HMM after the selection of a shipbuilder.
HMM hopes to be able to secure stronger fleet competitiveness with the benefit of economies of scale, and to form a stable basis for greater profitability.
The carrier also plans to boost its organizational capability, develop its IT technology, and expand its global network as part of a medium- to long-term plan to enhance competitiveness and shareholder value.
HMM’s largest container vessels today have a capacity of 13,154 TEUs.