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Friday, April 24, 2020 

South Korean shipping company HMM - which rebranded in April 2020 from Hyundai Merchant Marine - has held a naming ceremony for a 24,000 TEU-class containership ‘HMM Algeciras’, said to be the world’s largest containership, at the DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering)’s Okpo shipyard in Geoje, Korea.

Among those attending the ceremony were President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and various senior members of the Government, financial sector and shipping interests. First Lady Kim Jung-sook served as godmother who cut the ropes to officially name the ship. At 23,964 TEU, the class has a marginally larger capacity than the previous holder of the 'world's largest' title; the 23,656 TEU MSC Gülsün class.

The 399.9m long HMM Algeciras is the first of 12 24,000 TEU-class vessels scheduled to be sequentially delivered until September, 2020. In September 2018, HMM signed a formal contract for its 20 eco-friendly mega container vessels with three shipyards – DSME, HHI (Hyundai Heavy Industries) and SHI (Samsung Heavy Industries) in an effort to take proactive actions towards market change as well as form a sustainable profit-generating structure.

DSME and SHI are building seven and five 24,000 TEU containerships, respectively, which are scheduled for delivery by September, 2020. HHI is constructing eight 16,000 TEU containerships, to be delivered from the second quarter of 2021.

These 20 new ships will, according to HMM, enhance its environmental capabilities. The vessels are equipped with scrubber systems, while optimised hull design and highly-efficient engines are expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

“For me, it is very meaningful that HMM takes delivery of the most technologically advanced containership in this difficult time. I would like to celebrate it and hope that HMM continues to secure a competitive advantage as a Korean national flagship carrier,” said Moon Jae-in.

“HMM will strive to expand its presence in the global shipping industry based on optimised fleet management and new cooperation with THE Alliance.” said Bae Jae Hoon, President and CEO of HMM.

HMM Algeciras will sail under the Panama flag, and be deployed on the Far East Europe 4 (FE4) service, one of the Asia-North Europe trade lanes of THE Alliance, with its port rotation starting at Qingdao, Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Suez Canal, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, London Gateway, then Singapore via Suez Canal.

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