South Korea’s flagship line, HMM, has invited tenders from its four largest compatriot shipbuilders to build nine 8,000TEU containerships.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HJ Shipbuilding & Construction said their had provided their best prices for methanol-fuelled ships for delivery in 2025 to 2026.

Based on similar recent orders, 8,000TEU newbuild prices are in the region of $95m each.

A spokesperson for HMM said the order was part of its medium-to-long-term strategy of expanding its boxship fleet to 1.2 million TEU by 2026, from 820,000 TEU.

In July 2022 HMM ordered three 1,800 TEU  ships from HHI subsidiary Hyundai Mipo at $35.5 million each for delivery in 2024, and last year split orders for a dozen 13,000 TEU ships equally between HHI and DSME.

Methanol is one of the fuel options several shipowners are considering to comply with the global target of decarbonisation by 2050, as it is thought to be easier to store and transport than LNG.

Ships in the 7,000-8,000 TEU range have been sought after by various operators looking to increase capacity in mid-haul lanes, such as the Far East-Persian Gulf.

Taiwan’s Evergreen is thought to be looking for a new series of ships in the 15,000 to 17,000 TEU range, and compatriot Yang Ming launched a tender in September five five to ten 15,000 TEU LNG-fuelled ships, but has yet to decide on a shipbuilder.

Photo by Fraser Gray

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