UNITED Arab Shipping Company SAG (UASC)
has ordered nine 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) capacity
container ships valued at US$1.5bil from Samsung Heavy Industries Co
contract is the biggest container ship new building order ever
placed to date, UASC said in a statement.
UASC chairman Sheikh Ali Al Thani
said: “We are very happy to have chosen Samsung Heavy Industries to
build these large container ships for UASC.
“Samsung Heavy Industries was
chosen from a long list of highly reputed and skilled shipbuilders,
and the contract signed recently is the fruit of long and hard
negotiations between the two companies.”
The first of the nine vessels will
be delivered to UASC in October 2010, and the rest will follow
accordingly, with the last vessel delivery scheduled in fourth
quarter of 2011.
UASC currently operates a fleet of
41 container vessels.
Going forward, UASC expects three
vessels to be delivered this year and another 10 in 2009.
By the time the shipping line
receives its last vessel ordered from Samsung Heavy Industries in
2010, its fleet will comprise over 60 modern container ships with a
total capacity of 270,000 TEUs.
Meanwhile, UASC Malaysia Sdn Bhd
country general manager Desmond Yong told StarBiz that
Malaysian ports and local authorities should grab the opportunities
to attract more UASC ships to call at local our ports.
Generally, UASC runs ten services
between Asia and Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Asia and the
Mediterranean, and Asia and the US.
“Our ports need to explore the
unique marketing propositions to enable UASC ships to make more
calls at our ports.
“We have to be extra competitive as
other emerging regional ports in Thailand and Vietnam are growing
fast and not far behind us,” he said.