Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) has ordered six ECO-type handysize bulker newbuildings from South Korea’s Samjin Shipbuilding Industries (SSI ).

Four of the 36,000dwt vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2013, while the remaining vessels are expected to be delivered a year later.

The deal includes an option for a pair of additional vessels.

CMB said that the bulkers will be built according to sn environmentally friendly design, which will help the units consume 30% less fuel than ships built in the previous generation, a feature that will help reduce CO2 emissions.

In addition, the vessels will be equipped with a ballast water management system and will be capable of carrying a variety of cargoes.

The newbuildings contract follows an order for ten 35,000dwt handysize bulkers that CMB’s dry bulk shipping arm Bocimar placed at the same South Korean shipyard in 2007.

In February last year, CMB’s dry bulk shipping arm Bocimar converted an order for three Aframax oil tankers from Hanjin into four larger Capesize bulk vessels.

The company paid $56m for a 180,000dwt ship and $73m each for three 205,000dwt vessels. It also acquired five smaller Handysize vessels of 32,500dwt.

CMB said it has agreed with the Export Import Bank of China to finance up to $500m to help fund the full ownership of a Handysize vessel from JB Ugland from its current 49% stake.

In June this year, Samjin won a contract to build a pair of 4,700teu containers from an unnamed European shipowner.

So far this year SSI has won new orders for 16 vessels, including four 33,500dwt bulkers, six 36,000dwt bulkers, four 58,000dwt bulkers and two 4,700 teu containerships.