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MSC identified as charterer of high-priced ultra-large vessels

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GENEVA : MSC has been linked to the recent high-priced orders for four 23,000 TEU LNG-fuelled ships placed by Japanese tonnage providers at Imabari Shipbuilding. Two of these were placed by Doun Kisen, while the other two were ordered by Shoei Kisen Kaisha and Nissen Kaiun, all for delivery in late 2024 to mid-2025.

It is the first time that a Japanese shipyard is building a large LNG-fuelled container ship, as Japanese owners and shipyards have maintained a very conservative stance on gas propulsion and have preferred conventional propulsion fuel oil, fitting scrubbers to comply with the IMO’s emission regulations.

With a reported price tag at US$255 million each, boxship newbuildings have hit new highs, as yards seek to cover rising costs amid global inflation.

While MSC’s practice is not to discuss newbuilding orders, the Swiss-Italian liner operator, which surpassed Maersk Line at the top of the rankings in January, has also been leading in the orderbook, with 105 ships of 1.06 million TEU. Currently, MSC’s in-service capacity stands at 4.42 million TEU, made up of 343 owned ships and 333 chartered vessels.

The newbuildings include direct orders and those placed through tonnage providers.

MSC already has fourteen 23,000 to 24,000 TEU ships on order from Chinese shipyards, comprising six vessels at Yangzijiang, and four each at Hudong-Zhonghua and Jiangnan.

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