Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company (SWSC), is said to be close to firming up orders for a series of four 9,400 teu container ships for the Mediterranean Shipping Company.
The Chinese Shipyard was founded in 1999 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-run China CSSC Holding and so far, the yard has specialised on large bulkers and tankers of which it has built numerous units over the past decade. The four 9,400 teu vessels would be SWSC’s first-ever container ships.
It has been reported that China’s Bank of Communications Finance Leasing is in advanced talks with SWSC to place orders for the boxship quartet on the basis of long-term charters to MSC. It is believed, though it has not been confirmed, that MSC plans to charter the ships on bare-boat terms and manage them in-house. A firm contract could be placed in July and the four ships could be delivered in 2015 and 2016.
With newbuilding prices at rock bottom, a 9,000+ teu vessel presently typically costs in the region of USD 81 million to USD 84 million and the SWSC-quartet would likely fit somewhere into this range..
Design parameters of the proposed newbuildings have not been provided, but the four vessels are expected to be twin-island compact wide-beam ships of 299.00m in length and 48.20m (19 rows) in beam.
Most likely, the four vessels would be similar in design to a series of six compact wide-beam units presently under construction at Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding, in which CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding is a shareholder. These ships were ordered in September 2010 for a reported price of USD 95 Mio apiece. Three of them were signed by Germany’ Schulte Group, whereas three more are to come on stream for Costamare of Greece. All six of the ships will be trading on long-term charters to MSC
The first of them, JUDITH SCHULTE, to be renamed MSC ANTALYA, is actually scheduled for delivery in the next few days.