Maersk Group is presumably close to being able to finalize an order at the South Korean yard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for the construction of up to 11 new giant vessels with a capacity to transport 20,000 teu each.
On Monday Daewoo confirms in a brief to the stock exchange that the shipbuilder is negotiating with a European customer, though the company does not mention any names, reports Bloomberg.
Rumors have previously flourished regarding Maersk Line's possible interest in the new gigantic container vessels of a never before seen size, but The Korea Economic Daily brought more information this weekend about the potential transaction, including the fact that Daewoo stands to win the contract ahead of another bidder, Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The newspaper also reports that although the details of the transaction have not yet been released, Daewoo will presumably first build four vessels, while an option has been included for the remaining seven.
According to the paper, a source in the industry can inform that the unit price for a container ship in the mentioned size class is about USD 151 million, and the total transaction constitutes about USD 1.7 billion.
Currently, Maersk Line's largest vessels are the Triple-E series with about 18,300 teu each. These were the biggest in the world when they hit the water in the summer of 2013, but recently the vessels have been surpassed by new ships from competitors CMA CGM and CSCL of more than 19,000 teu.
In September 2014, Maersk Line CEO, Søren Skou revealed that the carrier would need new vessels for a total of 425,000 teu over the next four-five years in order to keep up with the market growth. On the other hand, he said in relation to the same matter, that orders for vessels larger than Triple-E were not likely at that point in time.
Since then, rumors have begun to flourish regarding the possibility of an order for ten vessels of about 20,000 teu each.