The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA) has signed a SR1.5bn ($400m) with South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard to build four cargo vessels.

The agreement also allows an option to receive two additional vessels, NSCSA says in a bourse statement.

The company is scheduled to take delivery of the four general cargo vessels from the end of 2012 until the end of 2013. NSCSA is hoping to finance 80 per cent of the orders through the government’s Public Investment Fund and commercial banks through 12-year Islamic-compliant debt financing.

In December 2010, the NSCSA signed an $86m deal with South Korea’s SLS Shipbuilding Company for two petrochemical tankers (MEED 27:12:10). NSCSA says it will buy the tankers through its subsidiary, National Chemical Carriers. It expects to take delivery of both tankers during the first half of 2011.