Shipowner Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping is splashing out close to $700m on midsize container ship newbuildings, inking a deal with Hyundai Heavy Industries for up to six dual-fuelled 7,000-teu vessels.

Shipbuilding sources said the Singapore-based company has contracted the yard to build three firm vessels for delivery in 2024, with an option for three additional ships.

The deal lifts Eastern Pacific's orderbook to 72 vessels worth about $9bn and, according to sources, represents a part of wider enquiry dubbed Project Knight — for 12 ships worth about $1.44bn