NOL Group confirmed it has signed contracts with Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd to build 12 new container vessels, including ten of its largest vessels. The confirmation follows the Group’s announcement on June 15 that it had signed letters of intent with both shipyards for its $1.54 billion newbuild program.
The signed contracts are for:
* Ten 14,000-TEU vessels with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd;
* Two 9,200-TEU vessels with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.; and
* Upgrade of ten 8,400-TEU vessels to 9,200-TEU vessels with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.
Singapore-based NOL also announced that it had agreed to charter five of the newly ordered 14,000-TEU container vessels to alliance partner, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) when they are delivered in 2013 and 2014. NOL and MOL said they reached the three-year charter arrangement to upgrade service in The New World Alliance. NOL’s container shipping line – APL – is part of the alliance along with MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
NOL said consideration of the charter agreement went into its decision to order the ten 14,000-TEU ships - viewing it as a means of balancing the alliance's capacity contribution, and allowing its shipping unit, APL, to increase its capacity gradually.
All of the ten 14,000-TEU container ships which NOL will take delivery of between 2013 and 2014 will be deployed on existing Asia-Europe routes. Half will be operated by APL, the other half by MOL.
Furthermore, NOL also announced that it had received firm financing offers from various banks and financial institutions for the 12 new vessels, for a total loan amount of about US$1.14 billion. The rest of the newbuild program will be funded by bonds recently issued by the Group and from internal resources. NOL said the financing is subject to final documentation and the loans will be drawn down to satisfy the payments and/or delivery schedules of the new vessels.