Sea Consortium, the parent of Singapore-based X-Press Feeders, has commissioned four 7,000TEU ships at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS), with the contract signing ceremony held in Shanghai on 23 April via video-conferencing.
It is the second time in a month that Sea Consortium has ordered newbuildings. Earlier this month, the company was reported by ship brokers to have commissioned firm orders for three 3,100TEU ships from Chinese shipbuilder Zhoushan Changhong Shipbuilding, with options for another two vessels.
The 7,000TEU ships will be designed by SWS’ affiliate, Shanghai Merchant Ship Design, and Research Institute. The vessels will be 272.5m long, 42.8m wide and have a draught of 14.55m.
The Chinese state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), SWS’ parent, is the world’s largest shipbuilding behemoth, and its officials state that it is the first time that Sea Consortium has commissioned newbuildings from the group.
It is also SWS’ first order for container ships since October 2015, when the shipbuilder won orders for six 21,000TEU ships from COSCO Shipping Lines.
X-Press Feeders is the 17th largest liner operator with a fleet of 43 owned ships, of which the largest is around 4,400TEU. The newbuildings represent an upsizing of the company’s fleet.