By L. Karageorgos
The skyrocketing daily rate for LNG carrier hires, reaching as high as 220,000 USD from roughly 38,000 USD last May, has wetted Greek shipowners' appetite for new ship orders in the specific category, after a previous years' hesitation due to the high vessel construction and operations costs.
According to Tradewinds, 50 new orders for LNG carriers will be placed by the end of 2018, with Greek shipping interests among the top buyers. So far, 44 new orders have been confirmed for 2018, with major "players" in the sector, such as Norwegian shipowner John Fredriksen and Shell group, expected to also place orders.
Christos Economou's TMS Cardiff Gas has placed the most orders for new vessels in 2018, at eight from two separate shipyards.
Fredriksen's Flex LNG is second, with Peter Livanos' GasLog third, with five orders from Samsung Heavy Industries.
Vangelis Marinakis' Capital Gas is fourth, with four orders recorded. Minerva Marine has placed three new ship orders in 2018, along with Alpha Gas and NYK.
Finally, another Greek-owned company, Maran Gas, placed orders for two LNG carriers.