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Ship Repairs Proving Costlier and More Difficult Scheduling-Wise

Performing scheduled maintenance or ship repairs is proving to be yet another challenge these days, in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “while observing the ship repair market since the beginning of the year, uncertainty remains part of the daily challenges owners must encounter for repairing their fleet. Nowadays not only the ongoing unprecedented effect of the pandemic is heavily affecting the ship repair market but also the shock of the long-lasting war between Russia and Ukraine”.

According to the shipbroker’s specialized department, Interyads, “starting with the effect of the war, we noticed a massive change in the itinerary of tankers and LNGCs vessels, putting a lot more pressure on the repair facilities in Europe, Mediterranean and Black Sea areas.

Most of the shipyards in those areas are fully occupied till the 3rd quarter of the year. Focusing on the yards with relatively small facilities, a lot of delays also occurred due to the over-booking, shortage of manpower, and supply chain headaches. Also, the prospects of a bigger market for seagoing natural gas have increased the appetite for more terminals in Europe or existing terminal expansion. Alternative routes of shore transferring the gas are also under consideration. Consequently, FSU and FSRU conversion projects are going to be also one vital alternative”.

Interyads’ Vassilis Vassiliou noted that “moving forward, all costs related to ship repairs are increased which consequently drives most of the shipyards worldwide to increase their tariffs. More specifically the price of steel has inflated the most, resulting in certain already agreed repair/conversion contracts with lower prices becoming invalid. Coming back to the usual topic of the ongoing pandemic, while most of the countries ease the regulations for vessels and attending personnel, we noticed China stick to the “zero COVID policy”, forcing very strict lockdowns and corrective measures in numerous big cities. This policy was judged negatively by the shipping community as in many cases deemed to be unreasonable. The result in the ship repair sector was delays in the ongoing repair projects due to manpower shortage, severe problems in spare parts delivery and difficulties in supervision. In some extreme cases, vessels were not accepted to enter the shipyards or were obliged to leave the yards with the repairs suspended. Needless to mention that this situation in China resulted all the rest of the Far East and Persian Gulf shipyards to be extremely busy”.

Source: Intermodal

Vassiliou added that “the positive side of the market turmoil is a more targeted direction to greener solutions for ships. There is a more organized and determined attempt to adopt alternative fuels and find greener options. As a result, we come closer to the merger of big entities forming global players in renewables and new energy, as well as vessels considering Solar PV system retrofits. Last but not least, in one month’s time, we expect to have the biggest shipping event in Greece, Posidonia Exhibition, which was previously canceled due to the pandemic. The event is expected to be a very good opportunity to reunite the shipping community after the two difficult years of the pandemic. The only country missing from the event is going to be China, which unfortunately due to their compulsory quarantine time when repatriating to China, will have a very limited presence”, Interyads’ analyst concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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