ISRAEL-based shipping line Zim and containership owner, operator and manager Seaspan have announced a US$1.5 billion long-term charter agreement for 10 containerships.

The 7000-TEU vessels will be equipped to run on LNG and are to serve across Zim’s global network. This comes after the two companies announced a long-term charter agreement for 10 15,000-TEU LNG-fuelled vessels in February.

Zim president and CEO Eli Glickman said the deal would strategically enhance the company’s operating fleet to further facilitate its long-term strategy.

“With this second long-term chartering agreement, we are securing access to our core fleet while maintaining operational agility with respect to the total number of vessels we operate. Since going public, and further evidenced by this transaction, we remain committed to deploying capital prudently and enhancing shareholder value,” he said.

“Keeping with our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and preserving our oceans, we are investing in state-of-the-art green vessels that use the cleanest technology currently available. We are proud that this transaction will further improve our carbon intensity standing among the global liners.”

Seaspan president and CEO Bing Chen said Seaspan was helping further Zim’s environmental initiatives with advanced designs, competitive pricing and valuable deliveries.

“Together, our teams developed a creative and competitive solution by leveraging Seaspan’s decades of environmental expertise, newbuild experience, integrated platform, and trusted partnerships with shipyards,” he said.

“Our growing partnership and the twenty LNG-fuelled newbuilds to date signify both ZIM’s and Seaspan’s commitment to carbon reduction and sustainable growth for our industry.”

Zim is the 11-largest shipping line in the world by TEU capacity, according to Alphaliner. It has a total capacity of 408,866 TEU in its fleet, a 1.7% share of the total global fleet. Of the 99 ships in its fleet, 97 are chartered. The company has 10 ships, with a combined capacity of 150,000 TEU, on its orderbooks, which is 36.7% of its total capacity.

Zim recently launched a trans-Tasman service connecting New Zealand and Australia. The service connects to both the China Australia Express (CAX) and the China to Australia service (C2A) at Sydney.