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Dry bulk ship owners keep building new vessels on the back of lower prices and improved market prospects

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Despite the doom and gloom that the dry bulk market has experienced during the past couple of years and especially during 2012, ship owners have increased the rate of their newbuilding orders in the sector, as they are looking for investment opportunities, trigerred by lower prices in various shipyards (close to historical lows), a factor which is difficult to be ignored by many owners. According to the latest report from Piraeus-based shipbroker Golden Destiny, “overall the past week ended with 32 fresh orders reported worldwide at a total deadweight of 2,115,200 tons, posting 61% week-onweek decrease from previous week, with bulk carriers holding 47% share of the total volume of new orders, gas tankers 34%, and containers 19%. This week’s total newbuilding business is 20% down from similar week’s closing in 2012, when 40 fresh orders had been reported, 3 for bulkers, 13 for tankers, 3 for gas tankers, 4 for liners, 2 Ro-Ro, 2 car carrier and 15 for special projects. In terms of invested capital, the total amount of money invested is estimated in region of more than $2,16 bn with 8 newbuilding
contracts reported at an undisclosed contract price. A hefty amount of money is invested in the gas tanker segment with 11 new orders, 6 for large LNG carriers, 2 for very large LPG carriers and 3 for handy LPG/ethlylene carriers”, it said.
According to Golden Destiny, “in the bulk carrier segment, Japanese shipbuilding group Imabari has won an order for three handysize bulkers of 37,000dwt from Hong Kong based Uni-Asia Shipping, a wholly owned subsidiary of Uni-Asia Holdings with delivery in 2014-2016 at an estimated cost of about $24,3mil each. In addition, Atlantska Plovidba of Croatia has signed a deal with the Chinese shipyard Qingshan to build two 38,700dwt, with an option of two more. According to its statement on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, Atlantska Plovidba said that the new ships would include a new type of main engine which will use considerably less fuel than in previous ships of this type. Delivery is scheduled for the first ship in late March 2015 and on the second in late October 2015. In last, Chinese shipbuilder Yangfan Group has won Yangfan Group has won another two 36,000dwt, self-unloading bulkers from Canada Steamship Lines, bringing to four the number of self-unloaders at an undisclosed contract price with delivery in late 2014 and early 2015. In the capesize segment, Quintana Maritime of Greece is reportedly to have placed an order for two 180,000dwt vessels, with an option for two more, at Sungdong of South Korea for delivery in 2015 at an estimated newbuilding cost of about $47-$48mil” it said.
It added that “in the gas tanker segment, South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding has received an exercised option for three LPG ethylene carriers from Unigas pool of companies, one each for Othello Shipping, Bernhard Schulte and Sloman Neptun. The 12,000m³ vessels, which were part of an original order placed at the beginning of October 2012, with delivery in 2015 at an estimated newbuilding cost of $32mil each. In the very large LPG segment, Bermuda based trader Petredec is said to have signed a deal with South Korean yard, Hyundai Heavy Industries, for the construction of two 84,000cbm LPG carriers, with an option of two more, for delivery in the third quarter of 2015 for a total newbuilding cost of about $300mil.
In the LNG segment, MITSUI OSK Lines and its Chinese partners China Shipping and SINOPEC have confirmed orders of six LNG carriers, to be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. The ships are to be owned by a joint venture being formed by the three shipping groups, with MOL taking a 20% stake. The LNG carriers are expected to be delivered on or before April, July and November in 2016 and March, July and November 2017. The total price of the six ships will be about $1.5Bn, with debt financing of $1.2Bn provided by a syndicate made up of the Export-Import Bank of China, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Corporate Bank, with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp as financial adviser.
In the container segment, Bernard Schulte of German has placed an order for four more 2,300 TEU vessels at China’s Yangfan for delivery in 2015 at an undisclosed contract price. The initial order of four was placed in October last year and the owner currently holds an additional option of four more vessels bringing the total to 12. In the post panamax segment, Embiricos connected company, international Maritime Enterprises, is said to have inked a deal for the construction of two 9,000 TEU boxships at Hyundai Samho for delivery in 2014 at a cost of $81mil each”, the report concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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