Evergreen Marine Corp is set to lift its spending on newbuildings since 2021 to over $10bn with its latest tender for feeder container ships.

The Taiwanese liner giant has launched a request for offers to build a series of methanol dual-fuel vessels of 2,400 teu as it looks to the company’s next generation of ships.

Evergreen is said to be looking to order six firm vessels that can be delivered in 2027.

Shipbuilding players said the “usual” boxship shipbuilders such as CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and domestic shipyard CSBC Corp are participating in Evergreen’s tender.

They think the shipbuilding price of methanol dual-fuel 2,400-teu ships will be around $53.5m each, taking the potential order’s value to about $320m.

Officials at Evergreen declined to comment.

A shipbuilding source familiar with the container ship market said Evergreen devised the feeder boxship newbuilding plan in the previous year. However, they only initiated the tender process in early March this year due to indecision regarding the fuel type for the new vessels.

Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network lists the orderbook for feeder container ships of less than 2,700 teu at 241 units. About 20% of these newbuildings will be powered by alternative fuels, such as LNG/methanol or battery hybrid propulsion.

Western operators in the lead

Most of the dual-fuel vessels on order will be operated by Western boxship operators such as Unifeeder and Crowley Maritime.

Singapore’s container ship operator X-Press Feeders appears to be the only Asian liner company to have ordered dual-fuel feeder vessels.

The owner has a series of 1,250-teu newbuildings on order in China for delivery this year and in 2026. It will be using the new ships for trade in northern Europe.

Some container brokers believe the latest newbuildings Evergreen plans to order are likely lined up for the European trade.

Early this year, Evergreen and X-Press Feeders agreed to team up on intra-Europe green methanol liner services.

They have committed to work together to launch a feeder container network based out of Rotterdam in the second quarter of this year.

The agreement will see Evergreen’s containers carried on X-Press Feeders’ green methanol vessels operating within Europe.

Evergreen is the seventh-largest liner company, according to Alphaliner. It controls 217 vessels of which 131 are owned.

VesselsValue lists the company with 67 newbuildings on order, totalling $9.716bn.

The orderbook consists of five ultra-large container ships of 24,000 teu, 41 ships of 15,000 teu and 16,000 teu, 10 panamaxes and 11 vessels of 2,300 teu.