A double naming ceremony for Pomor and Normann, the two icebreaking offshore vessels built for the Russian shipping company Femco, will take place at Havyard Ship Technology in Norway on Oct. 15, 2016.
According to the shipbuilder, the two vessels will operate under a contract with Exxon Neftegas on the oilfields outside of Sakhalin, Russia. In order to get there, the vessels will embark on a voyage through The Northeast Passage.
Both ships, featuring a length of 86.7 meters and a width of 19.5 meters each, are constructed according to DNVs ice class notation Icebreaker Ice-10 , with classifications demanding capabilities of breaking up to one-meter-thick, one-year-old ice.
The two icebreakers are constructed with class notation Winterized Cold (-30). As such, these vessels are constructed for work in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius without freezing up. The icebreakers' safety equipment and environment are protected against ice and frost at shielding, incorporation and electric heating or melting.
Additionally, ships are fitted with engine power effective enough to go full out winterization and anchor handling operations at the same time, according to Havyard Ship Technology.
Each of the two icebreakers will be able to accommodate up to 53 persons.
Aleut, the first ship in a series of three icebreaking offshore vessels, was delivered last autumn.
Due to depressed dry bulk market conditions, which triggered a slump in bulk carrier contracting and in turn led to the newly slim orderbook, which hit a nine-year low at the start of September, the bulk carrier fleet expansion is expected to ease in the coming years, according to Clarksons' Shipping Intelligence Network.
A dearth in ordering has seen the bulk carrier orderbook shrink fairly consistently since mid-2014.
By September 2016, the bulker orderbook had shrunk to 108.4 million dwt, down 19% since the start of the year. This was equivalent to 13.8% of the fleet, down from 17.2% at the start of 2016.
Overall, the bulker orderbook is at its slimmest for almost a decade, despite a 'non-delivery' rate of over 50% in the year to date, according to Clarksons.
Capesize contracting had been in fairly steady decline since the start of 2014, until 30 Valemax 400,000dwt orders were placed in early 2016, which units currently account for 11% of the total bulker orderbook in terms of capacity. Nevertheless, by the start of September 2016 the Capesize orderbook had contracted to a three-year low of 47.1 million dwt, also supported by a 10% YoY rise in Capesize deliveries in January-August 2016.
Meanwhile, by the start of September, the Panamax orderbook shrank to a nine-year low of 21.4 million dwt, driven by the consistent slide in contracting activity in the sector, including for Kamsarmax designs, in recent years.
In 2015, Panamax ordering totalled 6.6 million dwt, down 49% on an annual basis. This was followed by a near total collapse in reported Panamax orders in the first eight months of 2016.
Similarly, newbuild contracting activity has slumped in the smaller Handymax and Handysize sectors, in recent years, before dropping to an almost standstill in January-August 2016. This saw the Handymax and Handysize orderbooks shrink to 28.4 million and 11.5 million dwt respectively by the start of September 2016, representing a 10-year low in both cases.
Clarksons added that, at the start of September, only 60 million dwt, or 55% of the bulk carrier orderbook, was scheduled to be delivered after the close of the current calendar year. This compares to 67% in September 2015.
"The slim orderbook is currently expected to contribute to bulker fleet growth of 2% in full year 2016 followed by around 0.8% in 2017; this compares to average annual growth of around 9% in the period 2010-15," said Clarksons.
Finnish dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping has assigned the building of its energy efficient liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled bulk carriers to China's Jinling Shipyard, operated by Sinotrans & CSC Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.
The company said that the agreement reached between the parties "ensures timely delivery and highest quality of the vessels and has no effect on the contract price."
The two new, ice-class 1A ships will be the first LNG-fuelled large bulk carriers in the world, according to ESL Shipping. CO2 emissions per ton of cargo transported will be reduced by more than 50% in comparison to present vessels. The new 25,600dwt ships are expected to start operating in the Baltic Sea during first half of 2018.
"Together with Jinling Shipyard we shall make shipping more sustainable and environmentally aware than ever before," said Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director of ESL Shipping.
The total value of the investment is approximately EUR60m, ESL Shipping earlier said. The ships, announced in November 2015, will be designed by Finnish designer Deltamarin and will feature B.Delta26LNG design, equipped with both dual-fuel main and auxiliary machinery.
ESL Shipping has tapped Sinotrans & CSC Shipbuilding Industry Corporation's Jinling Shipyard to build a pair of LNG-fuelled bulk carriers.
"The two new, ice-class 1A ships will be the first LNG-fuelled large bulk carriers in the world, representing the latest in technology and innovation. CO2 emissions per ton of cargo transported will be reduced by more than 50% in comparison to present vessels," ESL claimed in a release.
The new ships will start operating in the Baltic Sea during first half of 2018.
"Together with Jinling Shipyard we shall make shipping more sustainable and environmentally aware than ever before", commented Mikki Koskinen, managing director of ESL Shipping.
Melbourne-headquartered logistics provider Toll Group, part of Japan Post, has placed a AU$170m (US$130m) order at China's CSC Jinling Shipyard, part of Sinotrans & CSC, for the construction of two 12,000dwt RoRo ships to support trade between Victoria, Australia, and Tasmania.
The new vessels will be available in late 2018 and will replace Toll's existing ships, continuing to operate overnight services, six days per week.
The new, purpose-built ships, operating between Burnie, Tasmania and Melbourne, Victoria, will provide 40 percent more freight capacity, more opportunities to transport refrigerated freight for Tasmania's growing chilled export market and more flexibility for customer deliveries, Toll said.
Toll has worked with the Port of Melbourne to secure an additional seven hectares of land in order to provide the land side infrastructure to support the increased freight capacity of the new ships.
The number of 'active' shipyards globally has more than halved since the start of 2009, falling to around 400 shipyards at the start of September 2016, with rapid growth in the total followed by steep decline all within the last decade, according to Clarkson Research.
Global contracting surged by 78% from 2002 to peak in 2007, with the orderbook peaking in 2009. With capacity expanding to meet this demand, the number of active yards skyrocketed, rising by 72% from 2005 to a peak of 931 yards in 2009.
However, since the financial crisis, the shrinking orderbook has led the number of active yards, ones which have at least one vessel (1,000+ GT) on order, to decline.
As of start September 2016 there were 402 active yards, down 57% on the 2009 peak, according to Clarkson Research.
Alongside this drop in the number of active yards, newbuild output has fallen and this year is projected to stand 34% below its 2010 peak in CGT terms.
Chinese Yards Losing Bulk
From 2005, the number of active Chinese yards grew rapidly, increasing 117% to a peak of 382 yards in 2009. Many of the new yards specialised in the bulk carrier sector. Since then, the number of active Chinese yards has dropped by 63%, with almost half of these closures accounted for by 'small' yards that had delivered two ships or fewer.
There were just 140 active Chinese yards at the start of September 2016, or around 35% of all active yards globally. The number of active yards in Japan has been more steady, peaking at 71 in 2008, before falling 17% by September 2016, when 59 were reported to have an orderbook.
At the same time, larger Korean yards have mostly remained active up to today. Elsewhere, post-2008, European yards struggled to compete for the more limited number of orders.
By September 2016, 140 fewer European yards were active than back in 2008.
Challenge to Be Active
Clarkson Research said that, looking ahead, many active yards appear vulnerable today. Around 240 currently active shipyards are scheduled to deliver their last units on order by the end of 2017.
Some of these yards may yet receive orders or have deliveries delayed, however, around a quarter of active yards have only a single ship on order, while around 40% are not reported to have taken a contract since 2014.
Only 59 builders have deliveries due into 2019 and beyond.
"The number of active yards has more than halved since 2009, with a prominent feature being the exit of many Chinese builders from the scene. With ordering levels likely to remain subdued going forward, some shipyards that do not already have substantial orderbooks may also find remaining active a challenge," Clarksons' Christopher Pearce said.
Shipyards become the next victim of the deteriorating conditions in the dry bulk, container and offshore markets as 2016 looks to set the record for the lowest newbuilding contracts in more than 20 years, according to BIMCO.
After a decline from 2010 to 2012, shipbuilding had a rebound in 2013 and was expected to level out over the next few years. The reality was a slight decline in 2014 and 2015, but still high levels of contracting measured by compensated gross tonnage (CGT).
BIMCO said that since then, shipyards have crashed, as the contracted CGT globally has hit its lowest level since on record.
"Since the high contracting in 2013, BIMCO expected the shipyards could come under pressure. This expectation became a reality at the start of 2016, with Q1 contracting the second lowest CGT in 20 years," said Peter Sand Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO.
"A low level of contracting is exactly what the shipping industry needs in order to eventually restore the fundamental balance between supply and demand," he added.
The shipyards in Europe were the only ones to see an increase in contracting in the first eight months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Europe contracted 2.52 million CGT, an increase of 45.3% compared to the previous year.
Japan and South Korea have had the biggest decline in contracting, down by 86.7% and 86.5% respectively, compared to the same months the year before, while China contracted 49% less CGT in that period.
"Globally, the tanker and container segments are the main reasons for diminishing new orders by percentage as well as in CGT in 2016. Combined, they were responsible for 67.7% of the total contracted CGT in the first 8 months of 2015. This year, tanker contracts are down by 80.1% and container contracts are down 84.1% compared to the same eight months last year," said BIMCO.
The effect of declining contracts and continuing shipyard overcapacity has put pressure on the shipyards order cover. The order cover is the number of years it will take to deliver the scheduled order book, based on the capacity of the shipyards. Therefore, a low order cover can be a result of high capacity at the shipyards, as well as a decreasing order book.
Shipbuilding in South Korea is suffering the most, as they hold orders for less than two years of building. Europe continues the positive trend seen in contracted CGT, with increasing order cover. This shows that additional contracting orders are not being absorbed by new shipyards entering the market.
"There is a declining trend for Japan, China and South Korea and with such low levels of newbuilding contracts being placed, this will look even more severe next year. However, the order cover could have been even lower, if capacity had been taken out due to shipyards cutting down on operations or closing entirely," Peter Sand said.
Kangnam Corporation, a Korean shipyard that traditionally has focused on military vessel construction, has won its first product carrier order.
Local firm Doora Logistics has given Busan-based Kangnam a contract to build a 4,700dwt product carrier. The ship will be delivered in early 2018.
A number of Korean yards that used to build smaller product carriers have gone bust during the downturn giving Kangnam a chance to get into merchant ship production.
Norwegian RoRo shipping company Höegh Autoliners has named its fifth Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC) in the New Horizon series, Höegh Traveller, at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China.
Höegh Traveller is the fifth in a series of six Post-Panamax vessels to be delivered to the company by the end of this year.
Earlier this month, Höegh Autoliners concluded sea trials on this 20,766dwt ship which has a gross tonnage of 77,000 Mt.
The new vessel features a length of 199.9 meters and a width of 36.5 meters.
The newbuilding can carry 8,500 equivalent units and it also has the flexibility to carry high and heavy project cargo.
"The vessel also has a higher door opening than Höegh Autoliners' current vessels, enabling cargo up to 6.5 metres high and 12 metres wide to be loaded. Extra ramp strength allows for cargo weighing up to 375 tonnes to be loaded over the stern ramp and 22 tonnes over the side ramp," said the company.
Höegh Traveller will begin its maiden voyage from East Asia to Europe in early September. After that, the ship will sail from Europe back to East Asia via Africa and Oceania.
Safe Bulkers has novated the shipbuilding contract for a kamsarmax newbuilding to another of its wholly owned subsidiaries in order to finance Us$16.9m of the construction costs via an unnamed investor.
The undisclosed vessel is scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2018 when its new holding company will issue US$16.9m in 2.95% cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred equity to the unaffiliated investor.
"This arrangement allows the company to finance a significant portion of this newbuild through the issuance of preferred equity to the investor with a preferred dividend below 3%, avoiding the incurrence of additional indebtedness and preserving our liquidity position, while it is not dilutive for our common shareholders," Dr. Loukas Barmparis, Safe Bulkers' president, said in a release.
The unnamed investor may redeem the preferred equity three years after its being issued or at any time at the option of the issuer.
The shares will not entitle the investor to any voting rights but the financier will, however, be entitled to nominate one director to the issuer's board.
NYSE-listed Safe Bulkers has two 81,000dwt kamsarmax newbuildings and two 84,000dwt kamsarmaxes on order. Three are being built at Imabari in Japan and one at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang in China.