Two Chinese shipyards have reportedly signed a letter of intent with French liner CMA-CGM Group for the construction of up to nine 22,000 TEU (twentyfoot equivalent unit) megaships, reports Huangqiu.com.
The Chinese companies have reportedly secured the .4 billion US dollar order after out-bidding South Korean rivals including Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding will be in charge of constructing five of the ships. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding will build the remaining four units. Both companies are major shipbuilding firms owned by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
The new class of ships are going to have a world-record displacement as compared to the current largest ship, the 'OOCL Hong Kong,' which has a displacement of 21,413 TEU worth of capacity.
The ships are going to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas.
It's being reported the ships will be delivered by 2020.
After lagging behind their South Korean counterparts for years, Chinese shipbuilders are said to be making significant headway.
Industry analysis out of South Korea is predicting China-based shipbuilders are likely to start surpassing South Korean shipmakers in the production of high-end vessels by 2020.