Evergreen Marine to build 10 new vessels

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) Evergreen Marine Corp. (????), the largest container shipper in Taiwan, said Tuesday that it has signed an agreement with Taiwanese ship builder CSBC Corp. (??) for 10 new vessels. Each one will have a capacity of 2,800 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and will be used for Evergreen Marine's intra-Asian shipping operations, the shipper said. Evergreen Marine is expected to take delivery of the 10 new ships starting from the second half of 2017 and delivery is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2018. Evergreen Marine said the order shows that the company remains upbeat about trade activity in the region at a time when talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which aims to tear down tariff barriers in the region, are ongoing. The shipper said that the new vessels, which will be categorized as B-Type vessels in the Evergreen Marine fleet, will be 211 meters in length and 32.8 meters wide, with a design draft of 10 meters, which will allow them to dock in relatively small and shallow terminals located in many Southeast Asian ports. In addition to cargo shipping in the region, Evergreen Marine will assign the new vessels to serve as feeder ships, which will carry cargo to larger ports, a move that will connect Evergreen's worldwide shipping network. Evergreen Marine said the ships will be eco-friendly models and each of them will be equipped with CSBC's advanced Sea-Sword bow, which will give 10 percent fuel savings compared with the traditional bow shape. The new vessels will meet the Tier 2 nitrogen oxide emission standards set by the International Marine Organization to cut about 20 percent in emissions, Evergreen Marine said. Currently, Evergreen Marine operates a fleet with a total capacity of 960,000 TEUs with 55 percent self-owned and the remaining 45 percent chartered. (By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)