Mediterranean Shipping Co has turned to China for a series of ultra-large containership newbuildings in a deal worth up to $888m.

Industry sources said the Aponte family-led giant liner company is looking to order five or six 23,000-teu vessels that will be fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems — or scrubbers.

MSC has approached both state-owned and privately-owned Chinese shipyards.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, China State Shipbuilding Co (CSSC)-controlled Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) have been named as the shipbuilding companies that have entered newbuilding discussions with MSC.