Hong Kong- based container carrier
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) christened its newest 21,413 TEU
containership as OOCL United Kingdom, at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI)
shipyard in South Korea on September 27.
Constructed by SHI, OOCL United Kingdom
is the fourth in a series of six ships ordered by the company from the Korean
shipyard, the earlier three being, OOCL Hong Kong, OOCL Germany and OOCL Japan.
“Following our ‘M Class’ of 13,208 TEU vessels
also built here at SHI, we are delighted to be adding these … titans at sea, ‘G
Class’ containerships, into our fleet,” Alan Tung, Chief Financial Officer of OOCL,
Featuring a length of 399.9 meters and a
width of 58.8 meters, the ultra large container vessel (ULCV) has a gross
tonnage of 199,000 tons.
Together with its sister ships, OOCL
United Kingdom follows the same port rotation to call Felixstowe as the first
European port of call during its maiden voyage.
The company said that 27 years ago, in
1990, the largest containership in the world at the time also celebrated its
first European port of call on its maiden voyage to Felixstowe. That was the
vessel named OOCL Hope, a 3,500 TEU containership. To put things further into
perspective, OOCL United Kingdom is six times larger or 600% greater in
capacity but burns only 60% more fuel per day.
In thanking SHI and commenting on the
business partnership with the shipyard, Tung remarked: “The
shipbuilding process is a complicated one. From hull form design, machinery
selection, fabrication to assembly, the shipyard must be able to bring a
concept on paper to become a technically sound and economically viable product
for the shipowner, the shipyard, the makers and sub-contractors. Adding to the
fact that many aspects of this class of vessels are in fact record-breaking, be
it size or machinery capacity and output, I think SHI should be very proud that
it has achieved this goal…”
In his ceremonial address, Tung also
thanked Koichi Onaka, Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank
(SMTB), for supporting OOCL’s fleet improvement that started with the financing
work on two OOCL ‘SX Class’ vessels which eventually culminated in “making
the OOCL United Kingdom a success.”