Wallenius Wilhelmsen has brought its newbuilding tally to 12, probably taking its orderbook to more than $1bn.

The world’s largest car carrier operator said on Friday that it was exercising options to build four more of its 9,300-ceu methanol dual-fuelled vessels — its Shaper class — at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard.

“The company now holds firm contracts for a total of 12 vessels, with deliveries starting from mid-2026,” the Oslo-listed shipowner said in a stock exchange filing. “Delivery for the latest four vessels will take place in late 2027/early 2028.”

Wallenius Wilhelmsen began its newbuilding push in August 2023, ordering four vessels with options for eight more.

It exercised four of those options in March, bringing the total order to eight while acquiring a second set of four options.

Friday’s move leaves it with four options left, but it stressed that it might not exercise them.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has not disclosed the price tag, but VesselsValue estimates the eight ships currently on order at $903m total, while it pegs an under-construction large car/truck carrier as worth just over $120m.

The company has ambitious environmental goals, aiming to complete the first end-to-end net zero emissions vehicle delivery by 2027.

It has a significant number of contracts up for renewal this year, and several major renewals already announced have carbon-cutting provisions.

Speaking to TradeWinds in March, chief executive Lasse Kristoffersen said the owner is the one bringing up green solutions in talks with customers.

“We’re happy to be a shaper,” he said, echoing the vessel class the company has on order.

“We’re happy to be the one bringing it forward. We have seen ourselves as somebody who has brought new solutions to this industry for decades, and we will continue to.”