* Maersk exercises option on 10 additional container ships
* Order follows initial order for 10 vessels in February
* Maersk does not expect to exercise option on 10 more (Adds Maersk quotes, details, shifts dateline)
SEOUL/COPENHAGEN, June 27 (Reuters) - South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd said it has received an order to build 10 large container ships worth 2 trillion won ($1.85 billion) for Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) under an option on a February deal.
The 10 container vessels were scheduled for delivery by May 20, 2015, Daewoo said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
Maersk, owner of the world’s biggest container shipping line, initially ordered 10 of the giant Triple-E class vessels for $1.9 billion and took an option on 20 more, making it Daewoo’s biggest order ever.
The first 10 vessels will be delivered 2013 and 2014, and the second 10 are scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015, Maersk said.
The deadline for exercising the last option for 10 more vessels is end of December 2011, the Danish group’s Maersk Line said in a statement.
“At this point Maersk Line does not intend to exercise the option (on the last 10),” it said. “However, Maersk Line will reserve its right to hold off on any final decision until the deadline.”
At 400 metres (1,312 feet) long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres high, the Triple-E will be the largest vessel of any type on the water today, Maersk Line said.
Their 18,000 TEU (twenty-foot container) capacity is 16 percent greater (2,500 containers) than today’s largest container vessel, Emma Maersk, it said.
Maersk Line expects demand on Asia to Europe trade to increase 5 to 8 percent per year in 2011-2015, it said.
“By introducing the Triple-E vessels from 2013, Maersk Line will be able to meet the increasing demand as well as maintain its market share,” Maersk Line said.
In a separate filing, Daewoo said it had landed a 221.7 billion won order to build two container ships for Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines Ltd . ($1 = 1078.850 won). (Reporting by Ju-min Park in Seoul, John Acher in Copenhagen; Editing by Chris Lewis and Hans-Juergen Peters)