Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Evergreen buys container ships from CSBC Co

ALL BOATS RISE:Three of the vessels will be built for Evergreen Marine, four for Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd, and three for Evergreen Marine (Singapore) Ltd

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Vice chairman of Evergreen Group, Bronson Hsieh, right, and president of CSBC Corp, Taiwan, Paul Tang, first left, sign an agreement yesterday in which Evergreen will buy 10 8,000-TEU (20ft equivalent) container vessels from CSBC Corp.

Photo: CNA

The Evergreen Group (長榮集團) has placed an order with CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船) to build 10 container vessels for US$1.03 billion with delivery set to start in the fall of 2013 or earlier, both firms said in separate statements yesterday.

Evergreen Group has ordered 20 similar vessels costing about US$2 billion from Samsung Heavy Industries Co since July last year.

Evergreen Group vice -chairman Bronson Hsieh (謝志堅) and CSBC chairman Paul Tang (譚泰平) signed the contract at the former’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday morning.

The deal came after a year and a half of courting on the part of the state-run shipyard after it lost two similar orders to South Korean rival Samsung Heavy Industries in July and September last year.

“The order of L-class, 8,000-TEU environmentally advanced vessels is part of the Evergreen Group’s new shipbuilding program,” said the conglomerate, whose members include Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the nation’s largest and the world’s fourth-largest shipper.

It is the first time the ocean carrier has placed an order with CSBC since 1997, according to Evergreen’s statement.

As with the previous two orders, the latest 10 ships will have an overall length of 334.8m, a beam of 45.8m and a maximum draft of 14.2m, the group said.

With fuel-saving features and highly efficient operation, the vessels are designed to provide shippers with an upgraded delivery service as well as reduced carbon emissions, the group added.

Three of the new vessels will be built for Evergreen Marine, four for Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd, and the remaining three for Evergreen Marine (Singapore) Ltd the statement said, adding all would be used for global services on different routes.

Evergreen Group chairman Chang Yung-fa (張榮發) said last year that Evergreen Marine would spend more than US$5 billion to add 100 ships to its current fleet of 81.

In addition to its 81 container ships, Evergreen charters another 69.

CSBC declined to comment on potential earnings the order may generate. A CSBC official said anonymously the ongoing appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar may wipe out any profits given the terms agreed on.

“CSBC secured the order at the same prices in US dollars as Samsung Industries won the two orders last year,” the official said by telephone yesterday. “The gains in the NT dollar will eat away at profits.”

Shares of CSBC rose 1.73 percent to NT$29.35, while those of Evergreen Marine fell NT$1.73 percent to NT$25.5 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

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