Zim has confirmed that it chartered three LNG-fuelled container ship newbuildings from Idan Ofer.
The New York-listed liner operator said it locked in the 7,000-teu vessels for eight years in a deal with an affiliate of Kenon Holdings, an Ofer-controlled company that owns 26% of Zim's shares.
The announcement came a day after TradeWinds reported that Ofer's Eastern Pacific Shipping struck a deal to order three of the dual-fuel vessels, plus options for three more.
Zim said the trio will be built at South Korea's Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. They are scheduled to be delivered from the Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings yard in the first and second quarters of 2024.
The charter deal adds to a string of transactions for Zim for 7,000-teu vessels that can run on both LNG and conventional marine fuels.
In 2021, Zim forged long-term charter deals with Seaspan Corp for 10 newbuildings in this size range before exercising options to lock in five more from the Hong Kong-headquartered tonnage provider.
"We are pleased to enter into another charter agreement to secure high-quality tonnage, with a focus on adding extremely versatile vessels that could serve us on multiple trades," Zim chief executive Eli Glickman said of the Ofer deal on Tuesday.
"As we work to secure our core operating fleet to meet growing market demand, we remain committed to maintaining significant fleet flexibility to execute our proven global-niche strategy and best serve our customers."
He also highlighted the reduced carbon intensity of the ships' LNG fuelling — although LNG's role in decarbonisation has been a subject of debate given the impact of methane slip in addition to CO2 emissions.
Using LNG will enable the company to assist its customers in reducing their carbon footprint, Glickman said.
Although a day rate was not announced, the gross revenue figure announced implies that Zim is paying nearly $45,700 per day for each vessel.
"This transaction further demonstrates our prudent capital allocation strategy, supporting our efforts to strengthen our commercial prospects, deliver industry-leading profitability, and create enduring value for shareholders," Glickman said.