The first South Korean ship will be delivered to Iran in March 2018 based on a deal to buy 10 Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) from the Asian state, announced the managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
Mohammad Saeedi added it is a 14,500 TEU container ship built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI), Tasnim News Agency reported.
He said after receiving the first ship, the remaining ships will be handed over to the IRISL at monthly intervals.
The IRISL signed the deal with the HHI to buy 10 ships from the world’s largest shipbuilding company in December. Financed by South Korean banks, the contract was inked between representatives of the IRISL and the HHI on December 9, 2016.
Under the contract, valued at $650 million, Hyundai will build 14,500 TEU container ships and 50,000 DWT product tankers.
The contracts were parts of the IRISL’s plans to renovate its fleet at a total investment of $2.5 billion.
The company operates about 115 oceangoing vessels, but many of the ships are old and have been deemed unsafe to travel and cannot be insured.
The agreement marks Iran’s first deal with a foreign shipbuilder since the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions.
The sanctions were lifted after Tehran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) finalized a lasting nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.