Worldwide Tanker Order Book Hits 15-Year High

Double Hulls Account For 28 Percent Of Tanker Orders Despite the fact that oil tanker contracting slowed down considerably last year from the 1990, the tanker order book worldwide is at its highest levels in 15 years, according to the Independent Tanker Owners Association (INTERTANKO).

At its highest level since 1976, the current tanker order book stands at 363 ships set for delivery between now and 1995. New construction pirces have begun to decline as demand for new ships drops. The cost of a new single-hull, 250,000-dwt tanker built in Japan peaked at $95 million in August-September 1991, according to Intertanko. At the end of February 1992, the price reportedly dropped to $87 million. This drop in price was not attributable to currency fluctuation, Intertanko notes.

In 1991, tankers of 12.9 million dwt were contracted to 27.5 million dwt in 1990. Tanker contracting slowed down in 1991, and during the last quarter of 1991, as 3.6 million dwt was ordered.

Almost all of the 1991 orders for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) were placed with Japanese and South Korean shipyards. A large percentage of the VLCC orders were placed as replacement of old ton- nage and committed to long-term charters. While Suezmax size tanker ordering dropped considerably in 1991, Aframax size vessel ordering remained very close to the contracting levels of 1990.

According to Clarkson Research Ltd., the oil tanker order book was 40.7 million dwt as of January 1, 1992, up 7 percent from January 1, 1991. This year, 196 tankers totaling 19.2 million dwt will be delivered—up 70 percent of 1991.

In 1993, 125 tankers totaling 15.2 million dwt will be delivered; and in 1994, 39 tankers amounting to 6.1 million dwt are scheduled for delivery.

About 76 percent of the orders have been placed with Far East yards, 13 percent in Western Europe, 6 percent in Eastern Europe and 5 percent in other regions.

Oil tankers specified with double sides, double bottoms or double skins, account for 28 percent of the order book. This year, 52 of these type tankers, totaling 5.3 million dwt, will be delivered. Next year, 32 others (4.1 million dwt) are scheduled for delivery; and an additional 10 (1.9 million dwt) in 1994. One double-hull VLCC will be delivered this year, followed by six in 1993 and five in 1994.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 28,  May 1992

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