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MPC Leverages Hanjin Relaunch for Feeder Ship Order with Fast Delivery

MPC orders feeder containership for relaunch of Korean's Hanjin
Hanjin had a large shipbuilding operation at its peak a decade ago (Hanjin file photo)

Published Jan 17, 2022 1:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

Germany’s MPC Capital looking to take advantage of opportunities in the containership feeder ship market confirmed that it is the company that ordered four new environmentally-friendly ships from Hanjin, now known as HJ Shipbuilding. The contact provides strong advantages for both companies as Hanjin returns to commercial shipbuilding after a six-year absence while MPC has the opportunity for quick deliveries.

The Hamburg-based asset and investment manager, which is the parent of MPC Container Ships, confirmed that together with partners it ordered four 5,500 TEU container vessel new buildings. The company highlighted the attractive new building slots available from Hanjin saying it would provide a unique market opportunity. The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2023.

“We are convinced that the demand for new containerships with favorable specifications, a low consumption, and high environmental ranking will increase,” said Christian Rychly, Managing Director Shipping of MPC Capital. “The orderbook in this size segment is fairly low and 80 percent of the vessels in the water today are non-eco ships.”

The company said that the vessels feature a high-efficiency design that will be compliant with EEDI-Phase 3 and NOx Tier III standards and that the eco-design allows for a 40 percent saving in consumption in comparison to the existing fleet. Further, following the lead of others in the industry including Maersk, MPC notes that the vessels will be built ready to be converted for operation based on methanol with a DNV notation confirming their stats.

MPC is a leader focusing on the feeder segment currently owning and operating a total of 68 ships. They operate serving intra-regional trade lanes on fixed-rate charters. 

The Korea Development Bank completed the sale of Hanjin last August with the Dongbu Construction Consortium acquiring a 66.85 percent stake in Hanjin Heavy Industries from its creditors. The shipyard, which is the oldest in South Korea tracing its origins to the 1930s, had been acquired by Hanjin in 1989. After avoiding bankruptcy through a government-led bailout in 2016, Hanjin’s shipbuilding operations continued with government work. 

In October 2021, it was reported that Hanjin had won its first commercial contract for the construction of these containerships. The yard changed its name to HJ Shipbuilding in December 2021 saying it marked a new start to the operations. Its parent company, HJ Heavy Industries has also returned to the commercial business announcing according to reports in the Korean media that it is bidding for the contract to build the Pyeongtaek Arts Center. Last week, the company also was selected to build new housing at the Korea Maritime University.