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Yang Ming Marine Transport may choose Hyundai Heavy Industries for newbuildings

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SEOUL : Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is tipped to be chosen to build the five 15,000 TEU LNG-powered container ships being planned by Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport.

Alphaliner, in its report released, said that HHI had signed a letter of intent with an undisclosed Asian ship owner in early February.

It is estimated that each ship is priced at US$185 million and delivery is expected between 2025 and 2026.

Yang Ming is the only one among the world’s 10 largest liner operators who did not rush to order newbuildings when freight levels hit historical highs in 2021 and 2022. The management had said then that it wanted to proceed cautiously, and explore the ideal propulsion fuel, in view of the global target to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Alphaliner said, “A massive 7.48 million TEU vessel orderbook, some 29% of the current liner fleet, and the weakening market outlook for container shipping seemingly have not yet deterred cash-rich shipping lines from extending their newbuilding pipelines.

Until now, Yang Ming has also been quite conservative when it comes to alternative fuel options such as LNG or methanol. The Taiwanese liner operator does not have any such ships in its active fleet or on order.

Yang Ming’s newest ships are a series of long-term chartered 11,860 TEU vessels from Shoei Kisen Kaisha, the ship-owning affiliate of Imabari Shipbuilding, delivered in 2021 and 2022.

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