Japanese shipbuilder secures orders for record 20,000 TEU containerships

Japanese shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. says it has secured newbuilding orders for 11 containerships with a TEU capacity of 20,000, marking the first-ever orders for ships that size.

Imabari said that it secured the order with the cooperation of Marubeni Corporation, although it did not specify which carrier placed the order, only revealing that it was an overseas shipowner.

The order marks the first order for containerships of 20,000 TEUs. Currently, the largest containership by carrying capacity is the 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar (the first of two ships in the same series), followed closely by the 19,100 TEU CSCL Globe (the first in a five-vessel series).

The Ultra-Large Container Carriers will measure 400 meters in length with about 59 meters breadth, Imabari said. The first vessel is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.

In order to build the ships, Imabari says it has decided to construct a large newbuilding dry dock measuring about 600m length by 80m breadth on about 100,000? of reclaimed land located next to their Marugame City Headquarters.

Over the years, Imabari has built over 200 containerships, including 4,800 TEU Post-Panamax vessels in 1995, the largest in the world at that time, and 8,100 TEU vessels in 2008. Currently, Imbari is building a 14,000 TEU ship, the largest ever built in the Japan, that is scheduled to be completed in March.

In separate but related news, The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container-shipping company by capacity, is currently in early talks with Asian shipbuilders to order up to 10 20,000 TEU ships worth around $1.5 billion.

The order is expected to be completed in the first quarter, the report said. The twenty Maersk Triple-E ships, with a capacity of over 18,000 TEU, were all ordered from DSME in South Korea.

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