Contributed by: Don WinnerAs reported yesterday, the Taiwan-based Evergreen Group has placed the first of its long awaited newbuilding orders with Samsung Heavy Industries and the order is the first concluded for Evergreen account since 2004. The Korean yard will build ten 8,000 TEU ‘L’ class vessels at a cost of $103 million each and will be delivered in 2012-2013, with the last unit scheduled for November 2013. Six of the new vessels are to be built for Evergreen Marine Corp (EMC - the Taiwan listed arm of Evergreen) and four for Evergreen International S.A. (Panama).
The newbuildings will have overall length of 334.8m, a beam of 45.8m and a cruising speed of 24.5 knots and will be the largest vessels in the Evergreen-owned fleet. Although the company declares the vessels’ capacity at 8,000 TEU, the dimensions suggest that the real capacity could be some 20% higher. The ‘L’ class ships will be one row wider than those of Evergreen’s existing 8,073 TEU ‘C’class design, which come with a 42.8m beam. The ‘C’ class ships were built in 2005-2006 and are long term chartered from German owner Conti Reederei.
Evergreen said that “the ten ships are the beginning of a programme of a new generation of container vessels that will be ordered by Evergreen Line from several shipbuilding yards in Asia.” This programme could include up to 92 ships for over 500,000 TEU. Further orders are expected to be placed at STX Shipbuilding and CSBC shortly. STX Shipbuilding had announced last week that it has signed a Letter of Intent in June for a containership order with an unidentified Taiwanese carrier.
The present order at Samsung is the first time that Evergreen has ordered ships directly for its own account at a Korean yard. Until now, all of Evergreen’s vessel series have been built in either Japan or Taiwan. (motorship.com)
Editor's Comment: These are the kinds of ships that will regularly be navigating through the newly expanded Panama Canal once work is completed in August 2014. The new locks of the expanded Panama Canal, measuring 426.72 meters long by 54.86 meters wide and 18.29 meters deep, will be able to easily accommodate these new Evergreen vessels. After the expansion is completed the Panama Canal Authority says they expect revenues from the canal to jump to more than $5 billion dollars per year. They expect annual operating costs to be about $3 billion per year, with the Panama Canal generating about $2 billion in profits which will be turned over to the government of Panama to be spent on social and infrastructure projects. Most of the money spent on annual operations - $3 billion dollars per year - also stays in the local economy, spent on things such as labor, services, materials, fuel, etc. So, the Panama Canal currently brings in about $2 billion in revenues, which will increase substantially once ships like this start paying to go through, carrying almost 10,000 TEU's each. And how do you say "expanded Panama Canal" in Chinese?" Ka'ching!