Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says it has ordered nine container ships from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai with an option to buy eight more, in a deal worth 1.1 billion kroner ($162 million).
Soeren Toft, spokesman for the shipping unit Maersk line, said Wednesday that the 353-meter (1,165-foot) vessels would help the company remain competitive. Deliveries by Hyundai Heavy Industries were expected in 2017.
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The order was the third major purchase since Maersk Line ordered seven ice-class container vessels from China's COSCO in March and 11 container ships from South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in June.
They are part of the Copenhagen-based group's $15 billion investment program to meet growing demand for shipping and to replace less efficient vessels.