A trickle of new orders from significant owners could be a precursor to a much-needed fleet replacement drive, reports Riviera Maritime Media.
At the end of the first four months of 2022, only 11 new tanker contracts had been reported, compared to 110 in the same period of 2021; with hindsight, 2022 may have been the low point. In the first four months of 2023, 87 new contact orders were placed, with some of the biggest names in Greek shipping leading the return to the shipyards.
Tanker Ordering Boom
Capital Ship Management (CSM) has ordered four Suezmax tankers from New Times Shipbuilding in China, with an option for a further four vessels. The reported price per vessel is US$87M.Currently, CSM does not have any Suezmax tanker in its fleet.
Details of the specification of the new contracts is not clear, but the vessels are likely to be eco-plus. In April 2023, Capital took delivery of the 50,000 dwt newbuildings Atrotos and Anikitos, both chemical/product MR tankers of an eco-friendly design. These vessels are LNG Fuel Ready, assigned Wind-Assisted Ready and have shore-based electric energy connection (cold-ironing)-ready notations by ABS.
A similar specification could be assigned to the Suezmax newbuilding contracts placed at the same yard by fellow Greek shipping company, Maran Tankers. This mirrors the CSM contracts, for four firm Suezmax tanker orders with an option for four more.
“Speculation suggests many sales are for the Dark Fleet of sanction-busting tonnage”
Contracts for our firm and four options are a bold step and could signify a first step in a fleet expansion and renewal programme. Another indicator of this was that in March and April 2023, a firm order for 10 115,000 dwt coated LR2 tankers was placed at Dalian Shipbuilding from Dynacom at a reported US$62M each. Like CSM, these 2025/2026 deliveries will fill a gap in the fleet’s size range.
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Source: Riviera Maritime Media