South Korea-based shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has selected Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build a total of 20 eco-friendly mega container ships.

The selection has been made on the basis of a request for proposal (RFP) issued to shipbuilding companies in April and will see HMM signing a letter of intent (LoI) with the newly selected parties.

As part of the arrangement, DSME and SHI will build seven and five 23,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships, respectively, which are scheduled to be delivered by the second quarter of 2020.

HHI will build eight 14,000 TEU containerships, which are slated to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, under the latest arrangement.

The newbuilds are expected to be deployed to serve the Asia-North Europe and US East Coast trades.

“Construction of the eco-friendly ships will allow HMM to achieve its ‘Capacity of 1 Million TEU’ strategy.”

Once the LoIs are signed, HMM will discuss further details of the shipbuilding deal, including prices, and conclude the final agreement.

The company has also established a ‘newbuilding examination committee’ to review all the conditions and the selected shipbuilders in detail.

Construction of the eco-friendly ships will allow HMM to achieve its ‘Capacity of 1 Million TEU’ strategy.

The vessels will help the company comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) upcoming regulation that seeks to impose 0.5% sulfur cap on ship’s bunker fuel oil from January 2020.