Samsung Heavy Industries has secured a contract worth around $951.6m from Orient Overseas for the construction of six mega 20,000TEU container ships.

Orient Overseas said construction will cost about $158.6m per ship and that 70% is expected to come from bank financing.

The contract price of each vessel is payable in cash in five equal instalments, upon signing of the respective shipbuilding contracts. The new vessels are expected to be delivered in 2017.

The present deal marks the operator’s first major fleet expansion in nearly four years, Marine Link reported.

"Ownership of the vessels will improve its operating efficiency and profitability."

A statement from Orient Overseas said the new order aims to improve the group’s quality of customer service. The company added that ownership of the vessels will improve its operating efficiency and profitability.

Meanwhile, Orient Overseas’ management announced that it is in talks with G6 partners for the next round of vessel orders, according to Lloyds List.

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By GlobalData

Hong Kong-based container shipping and logistics service company Orient Overseas is the parent company of G6 alliance member Orient Overseas Container Line.

In addition to this deal, Samsung Heavy Industries received a contract from Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for the construction of four 20,000TEU containerships.

Construction of the vessels will cost $619.6m, at about $154.89m for each vessel. After delivery in 2017, the new-builds are expected to operate on the Asia-Europe service route.