Korean Shipyards To Beat Chinese Rivals With Green Tankers

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Demand for tankers powered by eco-friendly fuel is expected to grow given ageing vessels, tougher regulations.

Global tanker market

South Korean dockyards aim to expand their presence in the global tanker market dominated by Chinese players with vessels designed to transport or store liquids such as oil and chemicals powered by eco-friendly fuels amid the expected downturn in the world’s shipbuilding industry.

Suezmax tankers

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., an affiliate of HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., is expected to win an order to build two Suezmax tankers with a capacity of some 150,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT).

Methanol as fuel

Those vessels to be delivered in 2026 have the option to use methanol as fuel, which would be the first case for a Suezmax tanker to be powered by an eco-friendly combustible.

Chinese shipbuilders have been sweeping orders for tankers so far this year, offering the vessels at 15-20% lower prices than those for South Korean ships.

Shipyards on the mainland have won contracts to build 98 large tankers in the first 10 months, while their competitors in Korea have inked deals for only 22 vessels, according to global industry tracker Clarksons Research.

Prices of tankers are around only a third of LNG carriers. But it usually takes only a year or one and a half years to build them, less time than other ships, while they allow shipbuilders to more efficiently operate their docks given their smaller size, industry sources said.

South Korean shipbuilders are predicted to seek tanker deals to fill their order books for the coming years amid growing views that prices and orders for LNG carriers may have peaked.

Local shipyards also aimed to win more orders to build carriers for other gases rather than LNG. Hyundai Samho has recently signed a letter of intent with a Danish company to manufacture 10 very large ammonia carriers at $1.1 billion.

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Source : Ked global