Evergreen To Build 10 New Confainerships In Japan
35 confainerships ordered by company in Japan since 1993 Further expansion a possibility The Evergreen Group announced it will order ten 4,173-TEU containerships from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The formal contract signing was to take place at the end of September, and the production schedule calls for deliveries to commence in 1997, with all 10 vessels in service by mid- 1998.
The new contract reaffirms Evergreen's confidence in the Japanese shipbuilding industry, and especially in Mitsubishi's Kobe Shipyard, said Dr. Y.F. Chang, the Evergreen Group's chairman. This facility was badly damaged in the January 1995 earthquake, but Mitsubishi still delivered the 4,229- TEU Ever Result to Evergreen on schedule.
The Panamax ships, designated D-types, are a further development of the company's successful 4,229- TEU R-type vessel. Ten of these have been built in Japan, five by Mitsubishi at its Kobe yard. The last vessel,Ever Repute, is currently fitting out and should enter service in late November. Mitsubishi is also building five 5,365-TEU post- Panamax U-type containerships for Evergreen, with deliveries scheduled for 1996/97.
The D-types differ from the Rtype in that they are significantly faster, capable of 25 knots as compared to 23 knots. Similarities include the capability to transit the Panama Canal, enabling both to participate in the company's Roundthe- World service.
Counting existing vessels and vessels to be built, the Evergreen Group containership fleet will number 105 vessels with a total capacity in excess of 250,000 TEU.
Since 1993, the Evergreen Group has ordered 35 containerships in Japan: 10 R-type ships; five U-type ships; 10 A-type ships and 10 D-type ships. In capacity terms, this amounts to approximately 120,000 TEU. Seven of the ten 1,162-TEU A-class ships are building for Evergreen affiliate Uniglory, which recently disclosed that it was discussing terms with Taiwan's China Shipbuilding Corp. for four additional vessels of this type. Of the 35 vessels ordered by Evergreen in Japan, 16 have been built or will be built in Kobe.
Evergreen and Uniglory are both now investigating new routes, and following Uniglory's successful experience in the Far Eastern/South Africa/South America trades, further expansion in the southern hemisphere is considered a strong possibility.