Overseas Orient Container Line (OOCL) has placed an order with South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries for two 5,000-teu (20 ft equivalent unit) ships for an estimated price of US$58 million each, according to industry sources. The deal came in the form of OOCL exercising the option it attached to its order in August for two ships of the same type, a Japanese newspaper reported. The deal called for top-heavy payment terms under which the bulk of the price was paid on signing the contract, the sources said. Both ships are due for delivery later next year, and the two previous ships for delivery in the first half of 2000. The sources said that, as with the two previous ships, Samsung had made the deal with Nord Capital, a German KG owner. Under the KG system, individual investors are allowed to create a shipping company to purchase a single ship for a project that requires bank loans plus equity financing. KG owners can take advantage of the KG ship-financing incentives as a limited-liability partnership. Earlier this year, OOCL decided to build six 5,000-teu ships to replace older vessels. After studying the offers, including those from Japanese shipbuilders, OOCL ordered two from Taiwan's CSBC in mid-July and two plus another two on option from Samsung a month later. The CSBC contract was with OOCL, but in Samsung's deal, the partner was Nord Capital, which has agreed to charter the ships to OOCL for six years with three years on option plus another three. In its latest deal, Samsung signed a contract for one of the two ships in late November followed by another in January. Counting the $120 million deal, Samsung is believed to have attained its target of winning $2 billion worth of newbuilding orders this year. German KG owners have been active in placing newbuilding orders. Orders have been placed by Conti Reederei with Hanjin Heavy Industries for six 5,600-teu ships, by NVA with Hyundai Heavy Industries for three 4,800-teu ships and by Hansa Mare with Hyundai for two 3,800-teu ships.