March 10, 2014 zoom The United Arab Shipping Company’s (UASC) ordering spree has come to an end with a final order for one 18,000 TEU container vessel at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea.The company announced yesterday that the final option for additional boxship had been exercised, bringing the total order to 17 ships, including eleven 14,000 TEU vessels and six 18,000 TEU vessels. The order, worth over $2 billion for all 17 ships, is the largest in UASC’s history.These 18,000 TEU ships will be among the largest, most technologically advanced, and most environmentally-friendly container vessels ever built.UASC hosted a signing ceremony in Dubai, where the newbuilding contract was signed by His Excellency Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Chairman of the UASC Board of Directors, and by Mr. Y. J. Ji of HHI. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from UASC’s executive management and senior management from HHI.His Excellency Mr. Salem Ali Al Zaabi remarked, “With the exercising of this final purchase option for one 18,000 TEU vessel, UASC completes its current newbuilding order in full. Today thus marks another important milestone in UASC’s transformation and growth story. Among our other assets, these vessels and UASC’s enhanced partnership agreements enable the company to improve its competitiveness in the key trade lane between Asia and Europe where the 18,000 TEU vessels will be deployed.”“UASC is committed to improve its competitive position in all key trades in which it operates and especially in other key trades where the Company’s existing 13,500 TEU and under-construction 14,000 TEU vessels will be deployed. In an environment where fuel oil remains the largest cost driver in the industry, our cutting-edge vessel designs have been developed with a clear focus on improving cost efficiency and enhancing environmental friendliness. This brings a clear benefit to our customers and UASC is proud to be a leader in the industry in these respects. All of these new ships will enjoy the most advanced fuel economy in the industry including, among others, being delivered as ‘LNG ready’; a first in the industry for vessels of this size,” added Mr. Salem Ali Al Zaabi.The completion of this significant newbuilding order between UASC and HHI marks an important step in four decade-long relationship between the two companies.The 14,000 TEU and 18,000 TEU newbuildings are scheduled for delivery from late 2014 and from the first half of 2015, respectively.