Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Hakata Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, have agreed to collaborate in the joint development of a 1,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container carrier.
The two companies have received the first order for the carrier, for two vessels to be used for time chartering by Korea Marine Transport Co., Ltd. (KMTC) of Korea. Going forward the two companies intend to establish a framework advantageous for competing in the international feeder container ship market as a way of expanding their businesses.
Under the collaborative agreement, MHI will be responsible for hull form development and conceptual design of the container carrier, while Hakata Shipbuilding will undertake aspects from the basic and detailed design through actual ship construction. The first two ships are slated to go into service sequentially from October 2014.
The first order for the new carrier was achieved as a result of technological collaboration between MHI and Hakata Shipbuilding, with cooperation provided by Mitsui and Co., Ltd. KMTC gave high marks to the new container carrier for its superiority in loading capacity and outstanding fuel efficiency compared to regular 1,000 TEU container ships.
MHI is widely recognized as a pioneer in the container carrier construction industry, its reputation backed by an abundant delivery record. Hakata Shipbuilding has earned high evaluations in the 1,000 TEU class feeder container ship market for the excellent performance and quality of its offerings.
MHI has adopted a long-term strategy for its shipbuilding and ocean development business to focus on high-value-added vessels and to strengthen its engineering operations by providing proprietary technologies to other companies both in Japan and abroad. Hakata Shipbuilding has been seeking to obtain advanced container ship-related technologies, including energy-saving features. The intentions of the two companies thus meshed and led to the conclusion of the collaboration agreement.