Each of the two new carriers will be 183 metres long, 32.2 metres wide and have capacity of 64,200 dwt. Delivery, scheduled for 2005/06, will take NCC’s fleet to 18 vessels with total capacity of 630,000 dwt.

The expansion of the NCC fleet will primarily serve the export requirements of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), which has a 20 per cent stake in the company.

At the same time as the Hyundai contract was signed, NCC agreed a new chartering arrangement with Sabic for four of the new vessels.