Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Maritime has signed a newbuilding contract worth close to $1bn at China's Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore (CIMC Raffles).

The Yantai-based shipyard disclosed Zodiac ordered four firm LNG dual-fuel, 7,000-ceu pure car truck carriers (PCTC). The contract includes options for several more vessels.

The firm newbuildings are scheduled to be delivered from the end of 2023 into 2024.

CIMC Raffles did not disclose the number of option vessels involved, but shipbuilding sources said eight vessels could be potentially added to the order tally.