Mohammad Saeedi said the first 14,500 TEU container ship built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI) will be delivered to Iran in March next year.
He added that after receiving the first ship, remaining ships will be delivered to the IRISL at monthly intervals.
The IRISL signed the deal with the HHI to buy 10 ships from the world’s largest shipbuilding company back in December. Financed by South Korean banks, the contract was inked between representatives of the IRISL and the HHI on December 9, 2016.
Under the contract, valued at US$650 million, Hyundai will build 14,500 TEU container ships and 50,000 DWT product tankers.
The contracts were parts of the IRISL’s plans to renovate its fleet through a total investment of $2.5 billion.
The company operates about 115 oceangoing vessels, but many of the ships are old, have been deemed unsafe to travel and cannot be insured.
The agreement marks Iran's first deal with a foreign shipbuilder since the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions.
The sanctions were lifted after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, finalized a lasting nuclear deal and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.