Buying interest in new-build and second-hand super tanks (VLCCs) has been strong this year, following a period of under-investment in the industry.
According to data from platform Tankers International, which focuses on the specific market, 11 VLCCs have been placed on order so far in 2023, compared to almost zero contracts in 2022 and after several years of reduced construction. Shipping sources said that just three VLCCs were added to the order book last year.
It is noted that the majority of this year’s contracts, a total of six out of 11, concern Dynacom Tankers.
As analysts at Tankers International pointed out, the new strict emission reduction targets have significantly increased the operating costs of large tankers. “Complying with the regulations requires building more efficient ships or changing the design of engines to run on cleaner fuels, which, however, have not yet been developed at the necessary scale,” they added.
“The new orders are for ships marked “ready”, for operation with new alternative fuels, but it seems that there is not yet a firm commitment from all shipowners to full transition to cleaner options,” according to the survey.