United Arab Shipping Company S.A.G. announced the signing of a newbuilding contract for nine 13,100 teus ships (A13) with Samsung Heavy Industries.

The contract constitutes the biggest containership newbuilding order ever placed by a GCC owned company, and is valued in excess of $1.5bln.

At a signing ceremony, held at the ‘Mina Al Salam” hotel in Dubai on the 29th June, 2008, the Chairman of Board of Directors of UASC, Sheikh Ali Al Thani, said, “I welcome Samsung Heavy Industries, represented by Mr.Jing Wan Kim, President & CEO, here to Dubai to sign this important contract. We are very happy to have chosen Samsung Heavy Industries to build these very large container ships for UASC. You were chosen from a long list of highly reputed and skilled shipbuilders, and the contract before us, is the fruit of long and hard negotiations between our two companies. I wish to thank you and your team for the professional attitude shown throughout this process, and feel comfortable that our order is in good hands. Your reputation for high quality and on-time delivery precedes you.”

The first of the nine sisters will be delivered to UASC in October of 2010, and the rest will follow in short order, with the last vessel being delivered in the 4th Quarter of 2011.

UASC currently operates a fleet of 41 fully cellular container vessels; with three more being delivered still in this year, and 10 more in 2009, by the time the nine A13’s have been delivered, the fleet will comprise more than 60 modern containerships able to carry app 270,000 teus.

Sheikh Al Thani added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and suppliers for their continued support to UASC, and herewith confirm our commitment to support the growth and continued prosperity of our region.’

With this addition to the UASC fleet, they truly live up to their vision, “Linking the Middle East to the World.’