South Korea-based shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries has begun construction on the first of the five containerships for China Shipping Container Lines, Hong Kong.

The order initially included the construction of five 18,400 twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) containerships, but this was later changed to five 19,000 TEU containerships. They will be the largest containerships ever built.

The vessels will measure 400m long, 58.6m wide and 30.5m deep and will be equipped with a 77,200bhp electronically-controlled main engine that automatically controls fuel intake according to speed and sea conditions. This will increase fuel efficiency and reduces noise, vibration and carbon emissions.

The vessels will also feature two EcoBallast seawater treatment systems that can treat 3,000m³ of seawater per hour by filtering and sterilising bacteria and plankton with ultraviolet rays.

The first containership is scheduled for delivery by November this year, with the remaining four to be delivered by the end of first quarter of 2015.

Hyundai Heavy Industries has secured construction orders for 102 of the total 372 ultra-large containerships.

In addition to shipbuilding, the company is also involved in offshore and engineering, industrial plant and engineering, engine and machinery, electro electric systems, construction equipment and green energy businesses.

Image: Officials and team at the steel cutting ceremony for the first of five 19,000 TEU containerships. Photo: courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.