Israel-based shipping firm ZIM Integrated Shipping Services has exercised its option to long-term charter an additional five 7,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) dual-fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) container vessels from Atlas Corporation subsidiary Seaspan.

The previous transaction, in which Seaspan signed 12-year charters with ZIM involving ten 7,000 TEU dual-fuel LNG containership newbuilds, was announced by the companies in July

The aggregate purchase price for the units was $1.05bn, with the long-term charters totalling around $1.8bn of gross contracted cash flow.

Meanwhile, the aggregate purchase price for the recently announced units is nearly $530m, with 12-year minimum charters totalling around $900m of gross contracted cash flow.

For the construction of these vessels, Seaspan will sign agreements with an undisclosed ‘major’ shipyard.

The containerships are expected to be delivered during Q4 2024 and projected to be funded from current liquidity, cash flow from operations and additional borrowings.

Seaspan chairman, president and CEO Bing Chen said: “The exercise of this option, with valuable vessel deliveries at competitive pricing, highlights the continued quality growth for both companies.

“The advanced design of these vessels demonstrates Seaspan and ZIM’s leadership in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives and a more sustainable industry. With strong customer interest in this vessel size, we consider this category to be the natural successor to the ageing global fleet of conventional vessels between 4,000 and 9,000 TEU.”

Since last December, the company has announced 60 newbuild vessel orders and taken over four second-hand vessels.

At present, Seaspan’s operational fleet includes 131 vessels with a total capacity of 1,120,200 TEU.

After the delivery of the nearly 60 vessels currently being built, the capacity of the fleet will grow to 1,889,200 TEU.