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UASC signs $1.5bn boxship order, Samsung's largest ever

UASC signs $1.5bn boxship order, Samsung's largest ever

Dubai: United Arab Shipping Company has placed a Dh5.5bn ($1.52bn) contract with Samsung Heavy Industries for nine 13,100teu containerships. It the largest order for container vessels by a GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) owned company. It is also the largest single order SHI has ever received.

The signing ceremony was held at the Mina Al Salam hotel in Dubai on June 29, attended by UASC chairman Sheikh Ali Al Thani and SHI president and ceo Jing Wan Kim. Sheikh Al Thani said UASC was very happy to have chosen SHI "from a long list of highly reputed and skilled shipbuilders" and that their reputation 'for high quality and on-time delivery' preceded them.

The new A13 vessels will measure approx. 366 metres loa by 48.3 metres wide by 29.8 metres draft (moulded). The accommodation block will be located in the forward section of the hull, the engine room aft. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between late 2010 to end of 2011.

UASC, which is owned by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq, currently operates a fleet of 41 fully cellular container vessels with three more being delivered this year and 10 more in 2009. By the time the nine A13 ships join the fleet, its strength will go up to 60 units of 270,000teu combined capacity.

The vessels will be deployed on the Far East-Middle East-Europe route. Ken Bloch Sorensen, UASC president and chief executive, said the fleet growth is in line with the industry's growth. "With the new orders we will be more than able to meet the growing needs of the industry," he said.

Officials of Samsung, the world's second biggest shipbuilder, said the Middle East represents about 20% of its total order book, valued currently at $46bn."We currently have an order backlog of 500 vessels, of which about 44 have been placed by our Middle Eastern customers," Jing Wan Kim said.
"This year, we will deliver 56 ships with a possible turnover exceeding $10 billion, up from last year's $9 billion." [30/6/08]