Maersk’s Odense Steel Shipyard gets Epic order
Denmark’s Odense Steel Shipyard, part of the A.P Moller-Maersk Group, has received an order from charter company Epic Shipping to build six roll-on/roll-off vessels. Financial details were not disclosed.
The struggling shipbuilder has been looking to secure more orders from outside of the group amid deep financial losses. It currently has contracts to build three patrol vessels for the Royal Danish Navy, scheduled for delivery in the period ending 2012 while its order book for large containerships extends only to the end of 2008.
The six vessels for Epic will each have a length of 193 meters (633.2 feet), breadth of 26 meters (85.3 feet) with 3,700 lane meters (12,139 feet). The ships will be able to accommodate 12 drivers with space for 250 trailers, and will be capable of an operational speed of 21.5 knots. Four of the ships are to be delivered in 2009 with the last two arriving in 2010.
Epic Shipping was created in 2004 when the Pacific Basin Group floated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company charters out LPG tankers, product tankers and combined freight and passenger ro-pax ferries. The ships from Odense will be Epic’s first ro/ro ships.
‘These six ro/ro’s are an exciting addition to our fleet and are ideal to trade on many existing routes,” said John Davis, managing director of Epic Shipping (UK) Ltd. “We also expect them to generate significant interest for the EU driven ‘Motorway of the Sea’ project (a program designed to promote short sea shipping between at least two member states). Many owners and operators are committed to this project, but up to now a lack of suitable tonnage has been a problem.”
Meridian Marine Management, an affiliate of Epic’s, has been appointed to oversee the new building project in addition to providing full management services for the vessels.