Zodiac Maritime has taken delivery of the MSC AGRIGENTO, the fourth of six 8,827 teu compact widebeam ships that Sungdong Shipyard of South Korea is building for service with the Mediterranean Shipping Company.
Four of the orders have been placed directly by MSC, whereas two ships of the type were ordered by the Greek non-operating owner Costamare, which charters them to MSC on ten-year contracts.
The Costamare ships MSC ATHENS and MSC ATHOS were delivered in March and came on stream as planned. MSC however decided to sell at least two of the follow-up ships to non-operating owners and charter them back on long-term contracts.
The series’ third ship, planned as MSC EDNA, thus came on stream as Zodiac Maritime’s MSC ABIDJAN. It has since been passed on from Zodiac Maritime to Eastern Pacific Shipmanagement. This Singapore-based company took control of the vessel as Eyal Ofer and Idal Ofer, sons of the late shipping magnate Samuel ‘Sammy’ Ofer, split up parts of the Ofer-controlled vessel fleet and brought the ships under management of separate, individually-managed companies.
The fourth ship of the series, delivered this week as MSC AGRIGENTO, it is to remain with Eyal Ofer’s London-based Zodiac Maritime.
At the end of this month, the new MSC AGRIGENTO is to phase into MSC’s Far East-South Africa-Europe Pendulum service.
The ship is named after a city on the southern coast of Sicily. Agrigento is known as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of ancient Greece. Agrigento’s ‘Valle dei Templi’, the valley of temples is a listed UNESCO heritage site.