MSC Affiliated To Minsheng Leasing Newbuild Orders

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DALIAN Shipbuilding Industry Co has won orders for a pair of 16,000 teu containerships from Minsheng Financial Leasing, reports Lloyd’s List.

LNG-ready design

The Chinese yard, part of state conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp, said the fresh tonnage is a duplicate of the seven newbuildings agreed in March.

They will be fitted with scrubbers and adopt the so-called LNG-ready design, meaning their propulsion systems can be converted to burn liquified natural gas if needed in future.

Sources familiar with the deal said the vessels would be chartered to Mediterranean Shipping, which is in talks with the Minsheng Leasing and yard to order four more. The Geneva-based carrier and the Chinese lessor have been approached for comment.

The order binge

MSC was reportedly also behind the March orders — consisting of a total of 13 16,000 teu ships, including seven at DSIC and six at its sister firm Guangzhou Shipyard International — although the shipowner has not confirmed or denied the claim.

Brokers say Minsheng Leasing may have picked up the optional vessels held by MSC in the previous deal. The order binge comes as the world’s second largest container shipping carrier is on track to move up another rung in the sector.

It operates a fleet of 591 boxships comprising nearly 4m teu. That compares with 707 ships run by the current number one Maersk, with an aggregate capacity of 4.1m teu, latest figures from Alphaliner show.

However, MSC boasts an order book of 34 ships, or 635,888 teu, compared with Maersk’s 15 ships of 39,388 teu on order.

Significant shift in strategy

Lloyd’s List reported that MSC is also to charter 11 dual-fuel 15,300 teu ships for 18 years from Singapore-based owner Eastern Pacific Shipping.

The move represents a significant shift in strategy for the world’s second largest container shipping carrier, which had resisted the accelerating trend towards LNG-fuelled tonnage.

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Source: Lloyd’s List

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