CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船), the nation’s biggest shipbuilder, yesterday said it had won an order to build eight container vessels costing US$23 million each from Chinese container shipper SITC International Holdings Co Ltd (海豐國際控股).
It is the largest order CSBC has received since an order from the Evergreen Group (長榮集團) to build 10 container vessels for US$1.03 billion in 2011.
“The global shipbuilding market is getting better,” CSBC chairman Robert Lai (賴杉桂) told a media briefing after the signing ceremony with SITC.
Lai said prices have shown signs of a slight rebound, after the market bottomed out at the end of last year.
Global trading momentum may also recover this year, which is expected to boost sentiment for the shipping industry, Lai added.
With the outlook for the sector improving, Lai said major global shippers should “build ships as soon as possible” to save on shipbuilding costs.
However, SITC — one of the leading shipping logistics companies in the intra-Asia area — still holds the option right for the six vessels in the current order.
CSBC president Chen Feng-lin (陳豊霖) said SITC chairman Yang Shaopeng (楊紹鵬) had promised to confirm the order for the six optioned vessels as soon as possible.
The delivery of the eight 1,800 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) container ships is set to start from September next year to the first quarter of 2016.
The shipbuilder will be operating at full capacity until the end of 2015 if SITC confirms all six optioned vessels, Chen said.
CSBC posted a net profit of NT$706.64 million (US$23.62 million), or NT$0.95 per share, last year, down from NT$1.74 billion, or NT$2.32 per share, in 2011, as rising steel prices hurt its margins, the firm said in a stock exchange filing.