SOUTH Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) says it is poised to sign newbuilding orders with the nation's three largest shipbuilders for up to 20 vessels.
HMM said it has selected Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, the world's biggest shipbuilder by sales, for eight 14,000 TEU container ships.
The shipping line also selected Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co and Samsung Heavy Industries Co, both major shipyards for seven and five 23,000 TEU container ships, respectively.
HMM said it will quickly conclude negotiations with the three shipbuilders by working out necessary details, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
"We expect to sign letters of intent with the three shipbuilders in one or two weeks," said Woo Byung-sun, a spokesman of HMM. He added that the company plans to formally place the orders after the Korea Ocean Business Corporation, a public company handling ship finance, is set up in July.