Maersk buys new vessels for African trade

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Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

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Maersk buys new vessels for African trade

World's largest container shipping operator agrees deal with Hyundai Heavy Industries for the delivery of 18 new ships by 2012

Maersk buys new vessels for African trade

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Maersk Line has announced that its parent company AP Møller–Maersk has signed an agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries for the delivery of 18 container vessels in 2011 and 2012.

According to the company, the vessels, which will each have a capacity of 4,500 TEUs (twenty- foot equivalent units), have been designed to meet the highest demands for safe and economic transportation of goods in geographies such as the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and Latin America.

In addition, each vessel is reportedly equipped with a waste heat recovery system, which reuses excess heat from the exhaust and thus generates energy for propulsion of the vessel or on-board electricity consumption. "The reduction in fuel consumption results in a corresponding reduction of emissions. It is the first time that an Asian yard will install a waste heat recovery system of this size and efficiency," the company said in a statement.

"We are very happy with this order," commented Michel Deleuran, Maersk Line's senior vice-president and head of network and product. "These vessels are part of our fleet renewal and development programme. They will enable us to continue to offer competitive container shipping based on a modern, economical, and environmentally friendly fleet."

In view of the flexible design of the vessels, Maersk Line will work on a variety of deployment scenarios, but has said it expects to deploy the vessels in the trades to and from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Deleuran explains: "We have served the Sub-Saharan African market for more than 40 years, and we are dedicated to support the continued trade development in the region. We aim to continue to develop our services and support our customers' increasing business in the trades between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas, Europe, and Asia. These vessels will support us in that ambition and also show our long term commitment to Africa," he said.

Today, Maersk Line has a 25 per cent market share in Sub-Saharan Africa and owns offices in 35 countries in the region. Customers are offered fixed weekly services in most trades.

"During the last 50 years, container transportation has been a key driver in globalisation. Our business is about connecting the globe and we believe globalisation based on fair and free trade is a winning proposition for Sub-Saharan Africa. Every day, our efforts and services contribute to improving world trade and thereby the living standards of people around the world," concluded Mr Deleuran.

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