Seaspan has placed an order for four new-build containerships with Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding and Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding in China.
The four 10,000teu vessels will be built to Seaspan’s fuel-efficient SAVER design and are scheduled to be delivered in 2014.
Seaspan has signed long-term, fixed-rate time charters for the newbuilding vessels with Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).
As part of the deal, Seaspan has also agreed to buy four 4,600teu second-hand container vessels from MOL, built in 2003.
Upon delivery, which is expected to take place in the second half of 2013 and first quarter of 2014, the second-hand vessels will be chartered to MOL on a short-term, fixed-rate time basis.
Seaspan intends to finance the eight vessels through debt financing with a portion of the proceeds of its previous Series C and D preferred share offerings, and with debt financing over the next few quarters.
All eight vessels remain subject to allocation in relation to the right of first refusal agreement with Greater China Intermodal Investments, an investment vehicle formed by Seaspan, an affiliate of The Carlyle Group and Blue Water Commerce.
Earlier in January 2013, Seaspan placed a $600m order with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build five ultra-large container ships, including an option to order for five similar box ships.
Each vessel will have a length of 368m, width of 51m, depth of 30m and will be capable of handling 14,000teu of cargo.
The vessels are scheduled to be delivered from 2015 and upon delivery will be chartered to Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation under a long-term contract.
Seaspan currently manages a fleet of 89 vessels with a combined capacity of 600,000teu, including the 16 newbuild vessels on order that are scheduled to join its fleet by 2015.