China International Marine Containers (CIMC) today disclosed that it has placed orders for two additional 8,800 teu container ships for MSC. The company’s financial leasing unit said that it was paying USD 85 million per vessel for the pair, with deliveries scheduled for 2015.
The ships will be built in China by at Jiangsu New Times Shipbuilding (aka New Century Shipyard) and they will be similar in design to five units that CIMC ordered at the same yard in July, also for long-term charters to MSC.
The relationship between CIMC and New Times Shipbuilding had started earlier this year when the container manufacturer, which in 2012 broadened its scope to become a major container vessel owner, placed orders for four 9,200 teu vessels that CIMC will charter to the French Line CMA CGM. Originally, these ships, part of a series of ten identical vessels, were to be built at STX Dalian. Financial problems at the STX Group however later led to a cancellation of this deal and CIMC turned to New Times for replacement orders.
Today’s order takes CIMC’s pipeline at New Times Shipbuilding to 11 vessels: Four 9,200 teu units for CMA CGM and seven 8,800 teu ships for MSC. Further to this, it takes the number of ships of this type that MSC will receive from CIMC to 14 units, since the seven sisters from New Times Shipbuilding will add to another seven sisters from Dalian New Shipyard.
These 14 vessels are scheduled to come on stream between April 2015 and April 2016. They add to MSC’s already impressive newbuilding pipeline which among others includes six 16,000 teu ships (from Zodiac and Eastern Pacific) and six 18,000 teu ships (from BoComm and Minsheng Financial Leasing).