Lloyd's List: Neptune orders up to four car carriers from Hyundai Mipo

by Nigel Lowry  

Neptune’s two vessels will have ease of manoeuvre that makes them well-suited to shortsea trades.
Vessels are sisters of previous quartet but offer a smaller environmental footprint. 
GREECE-based Neptune Lines has inked an order for two pure car and truck carrier newbuildings with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea.

The vessels of 31,000 sq m carrying capacity can accommodate about 3,500 cars depending on size and are due for delivery in late 2013 and early 2014. 

The ships are understood to be close sisters of four previous PCTCs that Hyundai Mipo built for Neptune in 2009-2010, but with a reduced environmental footprint and improved energy efficiency. 

According to a source close to the contract, the vessels have advanced manoeuvrability that makes them suitable for shortsea trades. 

No price was immediately given for the deal, which includes a provision for two optional additional vessels. 

The previous quartet for Neptune, contracted in 2007, was reportedly priced at about $54m per vessel. Yard prices have come down since then, though probably not as steeply as for bulkers, tankers and containerships. 

The deal, which is said to follow six months of project development, appears to be the first for some time in the medium-sized car carrier segment. 

Recent newbuilding orders from Hyundai Glovis and Eukor were for larger ocean-going car carriers.

Neptune Lines is a leading operator in shortsea transportation, serving more than 25 ports in 18 countries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, carrying more than 700,000 units annually. 

The company owns a fleet of 11 car carriers and operates two further vessels on period charters.  

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