Hyundai Glovis is set to invest almost $500m to expand an order for what will be the largest pure car/truck carriers ever built.

The South Korean company has split the contract for four 10,800-ceu PCTCs between two shipyards in China.

Industry sources said Hyundai Glovis had commissioned China State Shipbuilding Corp-controlled Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and Shanghai Waigaiqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) to construct two LNG dual-fuelled vessels each. Delivery of all four is slated for 2027.

Sources said the newbuildings are option vessels that the company held at the two CSSC shipyards. The latest quartet is believed to be costing about $488m in total.

Late last year, Hyundai Glovis was reported to have booked six firm newbuilding slots plus options for four additional ships at GSI and SWS, each for delivery in 2027.

It then novated the firm vessels to domestic owner HMM and Canadian container ship tonnage provider Seaspan Corp, respectively. Hyundai Glovis will charter back the 10,800-ceu newbuildings for 20 years.

Officials at Hyundai Glovis were not available for comment.

Financing secured

One Asian shipping player following Hyundai Glovis’ car carrier activities said the latest four ships will be financed by Korea Ocean Business Corp (KOBC).

“Hyundai Glovis will novate these newbuildings to the state-run agency,” the Asian shipping player said. “Like the deals with HMM and Seaspan, it will charter back the PCTCs for 20 years.”

One newbuilding broker is surprised that KOBC is financing vessels ordered in China as he thought the South Korean state entity would only support ships built by domestic South Korean shipyards.

“From time to time, policy in South Korea will change [to adapt to the market situation],” one South Korean ship financier said.

On 6 February, Hyundai Glovis announced that it would be chartering four PCTC newbuildings from KOBC without disclosing details of charter contracts and the shipyards.

It said, the car carrier sector is facing a shortage of vessels and as a result, cars were transported via containers.

“The ministry of oceans and fisheries held a meeting with automobile shipping companies and the mid-sized automobile industry to understand the current situation,” Hyundai Glovis said.

“This is an example of a solution being prepared through public-private cooperation.”

The 10,800-ceu newbuildings will be the world’s largest PCTCs. The previous record-holder is a 9,350-ceu series ordered by market leader Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Besides the 10,800-ceu PCTC newbuildings, Hyundai Glovis is also scheduled to take delivery of 10 LNG dual-fuel 7,000 to 8,600-ceu car carriers newbuildings between 2024 and 2026 that are being constructed at GSI.

It has chartered the newbuildings — three from HMM and seven from H-Line for up to 20 years.

Hyundai Glovis is a major car carrier operator and controls about 80 vessels of which 32 are owned.

Car carrier sources said the company needs new tonnage as it did not renew charter contracts for several PCTCs that expired in recent months due to high rates.

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