Evangelos Marinakis is the latest private shipowner to order container ship newbuildings, with a $1.25bn deal.

The Greek magnate made his move just days after John Fredriksen and Idan Ofer signed major boxship orders backed by contracts to top lines.

The deal also continues a cross-sector newbuilding drive from Marinakis that now runs to more than 100 vessels costing well over $8bn.

In the latest deal, private Marinakis company Capital Maritime & Trading commissioned a series of 8,400-teu vessels at New Times Shipbuilding — six firm ships plus four options.

News of Capital planning to order the LNG dual-fuel midsize boxships was first reported in TradeWinds in May.

This is believed to be Capital’s first container ship order in China, although the Greek company began to turn to the country for new tonnage two years ago.

Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network shows Capital as having 24 ships ranging from offshore units to VLCCs on order at New Times. It is believed to have signed its first Chinese newbuilding deal in 2022 when it contracted New Times to construct two 115,800-dwt aframax product carriers for delivery in February and March 2025.

Sources said the shipowner is slated to take delivery of the six firm boxships in the first quarter of 2027. This is deemed early, as most reputable shipyards in the Far East have sold out of slots until the end of 2028.

The sources added that New Times can offer Capital early slots as the yard is planning to build the container ships on a new dry dock that it is adding.

Capital is said to have ordered the series on speculation, as it has not lined up employment.

Early delivery is understood to have been one of the key drivers behind the order.

High demand

Container ship experts said the 8,400-teu vessels will be in high demand because they are viewed as the future workhorses of the sector.

Their flexibility will enable them to operate on routes from Far East Asia to the Middle East, transatlantic north-south trades and regions including Africa and Latin America.

They will be capable of carrying 1,600 reefer containers and will feature shaft generators and air lubrication systems.

“We believe these ships are going to be highly attractive to the liner operators,” said one boxship expert.

Last month, Capital was reported to have ordered four firm platform supply vessels at Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding, with four options attached.

The quartet was estimated to cost between $40m and $50m each.

Clarksons data shows that Capital has 50 dual-fuel newbuildings booked, including VLCCs, suezmaxes, LR2s, LNG carriers, very large ammonia carriers and midsize LPG ships. It is said to have ordered them as part of a fleet renewal strategy of adding ships with lower carbon footprints.

Capital is believed to have started its “green revolution” fleet transition programme six years ago.

At Posidonia in June, Marinakis said he had ordered 88 newbuildings at a cost of $7bn as part of a major investment in new fuels.

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