South Korean shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries is looking for customers for a 16,000-TEU containership that it said would be able to carry 180,000 tons of cargo, equivalent to 2.2 million 29-inch television sets.
The vessel would become the world’s largest box ship, taking over from Maersk Line's PS-class Emma Maersk series that has a maximum capacity close to 15,000 TEUs, although the Danish carrier declares it at 11,000 TEUs.
Samsung said in a release on its Web site mentioned the width of the 16,000-TEU containership design as 400 meters, however it can be safely assumed it should have related to the length of the ship.
The shipbuilder is currently building a 400-meter floating dock, on which the giant ships will be constructed, which it plans to start operating in the first half of 2009.
"Due to continuously high oil prices, it is becoming a market norm to place orders for ultra-large containerships that can carry as much cargo as possible. We will endeavor to complete contracts for 16,000-TEU containerships, which we have developed to meet rising demand," said Kim Jing-wan Samsung's chief executive officer.
Samsung spent two years doing wave and weight tests at its research center, and one of the design features include the pilot house being placed at the middle of the ship, rather than the conventional housing of both the pilot house and engine room at the rear.
"This new configuration doubles the solidity of the ship and optimizes facility disposition, thus raising operations efficiency by more than 10 percent," the shipbuilder said in a statement.
The announcement was accompanied by news that Israeli carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. has ordered eight 12,000-TEU ships worth $1.37 billion. Samsung has $17.8 billion worth of new contracts including 37 ships in the 12,600-TEU to 13,300-TEU range. The company said it will shift its sales strategy to the 16,000-TEU ships next year.