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2016-05-23 14:52:24

The vessels of the SX157 design are a part of the ALP Future class. Service speed is 13 knots, while their top speed is 19 knots. With a fuel capacity of more than 3,500t, they can tow at full power for 45 days, sufficient for non-stop Trans-Atlantic/Indian, Pacific Ocean towing operations without fuel calls. The vessels are constructed by Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair, Japan.

The vessels were developed especially for this project in close collaboration between ship designer Ulstein Design & Solutions AS and ship owner ALP Maritime Services, the latter a subsidiary of Teekay Offshore Partners L.P.

A vessel of this type typically tow oil rigs, or FPSOs, from the building yards to the installation site at the oil field. Additionally, these vessels are outfitted with DP2 and anchor handling capacity in order to assist during the installation/hook-up phase for the towed objects. The vessels are 88.9 metres long and 21 metres wide.

2016-05-20 13:55:27

Chinese domestic container shipping firm Zhonggu Shipping has signed a shipbuilding contract with CSSC-affiliated Shanghai Shipyard for the construction of one 2,500teu container vessel.

The order is Shanghai Shipyard's first ship order in 2016.

Zhonggu Shipping ordered six 2,500teu containerships at Zhoushan Wuzhou Shipbuilding in 2013. However, the shipyard only delivered one of the vessels before it went bankrupt earlier this year. Last month, Zhonggu Shipping turned to Zhoushan Changhong International to order a single 2,500teu containership.

2016-05-19 14:03:44

It is essential that new orders are placed within the next three to six months for the yard industry to fill up its orderbooks for 2017, according to Danish Ship Finance.

The orderbook is rapidly approaching the low levels seen at the start of 2013, but 2016 looks to be a reasonable year for shipbuilding based solely on the amount of scheduled orders for the year. However, the prospects for 2017 are not that promising, seeing that 45% of the current orderbook is scheduled to be delivered during the last three quarters of 2016.

As of April 2016, scheduled orders for 2017 are only capable of employing 69% of current active newbuilding capacity, the ship finance institute said in its market review for May 2016, adding that if it is assumed that the usual number of orders are either postponed or cancelled, global yard utilisation could fall below 50% in 2017.

If the orderbook for 2017 is not filled, China will be hit the worst, because 57% of the Chinese orderbook is scheduled to be delivered during the last three quarters of 2016. Orders for 2017 are currently only capable of employing around 52% of Chinese active yard capacity, the review finds.

Bulk, container and offshore orders currently constitute 51% of the total orderbook. Due to the current market conditions in these segments, more orders could continue to be postponed and the orderbook for 2017 could be "filled up" solely by postponed orders.

In 2015, 95% of the orders that were postponed for later delivery were pushed into 2016.

"Hence, in a scenario where we assume that the same percentage of orders will be postponed from 2016 to 2017, the orderbook for 2017 could actually increase by 17 million cgt to just above 50 million cgt. Moreover, if we adjust for the new orders that will most likely be placed during 2016 for delivery in 2017, scheduled orders for delivery in 2017 could end up at a similar level as in 2015 and 2016, which would support yard utilisation," said the institute.

However, the problem is that if the orderbook is filled up with postponed orders, the shipyards do not receive any new capital or liquidity, as final payments are solely delayed. Therefore, there is a reasonable risk that orders will continue to be postponed, and consequently the already financially troubled yards will remain under pressure, the institute adds.

"Currently, there are around 340 yards that have less than one year of order cover. After having entered into the second quarter of 2016, three-quarters of these yards have already emptied their orderbooks and we expect them to close in 2016," DSF says.

By the end of 2016, Danish Ship Finance expects that the number of active yards could drop to around 530 – and that is only counting those that are currently running out of orders.

Based on the institute's estimates, around ten first-tier yards will close down in 2016 and 190 second-tier yards. Some of the first-tier yards that are exposed to close down are primarily occupied with repairs and therefore will probably not close down entirely but will put their newbuilding operations on hold. If yards also start to close as a result of financial problems, the amount of yard capacity could go even lower.

"We see no easy solution for the shipbuilding industry. The coming years will be extremely difficult and a lot of yards will have to close down. However, in some ways the demise of the shipbuilding industry is a necessary evil in order for shipping to return to a more normalised state," the institute concludes, adding that the industry needs to adjust active yard capacity for lower future demand in order to balance the declining orderbook, increase newbuilding prices and avert the growing liquidity crisis.

2016-05-18 15:32:36

Sinotrans&CSC Jinling Shipyard under China's state-owned enterprise Sinotrans&CSC Holdings Co., Ltd. launched a 9,900dwt cement carrier for its UK-based shipowner on May 17, according to a domestic shipping news report.

The vessel measures 124.7m in length overall, 20m in breadth moulded, and 10.80m in depth moulded, the report added.

2016-05-18 13:18:53

Greece's Super-Eco Tankers has placed an order for two firm 40,000dwt IMO-II product tankers at South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The two newbuildings are scheduled to be delivered in 2017 and 2018 from Ulsan. No price has been revealed.

Super-Eco Tankers fleet currently includes 11 ships trading and an additional two 37,500dwt tankers under construction.

2016-05-11 13:50:20

Chinese shipyard Zhejiang Zengzhou Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. successfully delivered a 39,000dwt bulk carrier "INTERLINK AFFINITY" to a US-based shipowner in May 9, according to a domestic shipping news report.

2016-05-10 13:39:59

Newbuilding orders of tanker ships have seen a sharp reduction, but the slowing trend needs to be sustained for the longer-term health of the market, according to the latest edition of the Tanker Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

After numerous orders in recent years, newbuilding activity in the tanker market declined sharply in the first quarter of 2016 as only 34 vessels (2.6 million dwt) were ordered during the period, far below the hefty 368 vessels (45 million dwt) ordered in 2015.

Challenging conditions in capital markets and tight credit availability from banks have subdued new ordering. Although this will not arrest the strong fleet growth and corresponding decline in freight rates over the next two years, as many vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2016-17, it bodes well for the future, especially if this is a reflection of cautious ordering by owners.

However, if the current decline is just a breather after the hefty ordering in 2015, when owners increased orders to avoid stringent Tier III regulations for the vessels ordered from Jan. 1, 2016, any increase in ordering in the coming months will hurt the longer-term outlook for the tanker market.

Despite the slowdown in ordering in the first quarter of the year, the total orderbook remains high at 63.7 million dwt, 18.6% of the crude tanker fleet. About 80% of the vessels in the orderbook are scheduled to be delivered in the next two years, and we expect more than 200 crude tankers to be delivered by the end of 2017.

"Newbulding prices declined during the quarter on account of the slowdown in tanker ordering, which coincided with weakness in newbuilding activity in other sectors as well, keeping prices under pressure. If ordering remains weak in the coming quarters, newbuilding prices could soften further," said Rajesh Verma, Drewry's lead analyst for tanker shipping.

"The tanker market is expected to be oversupplied in the next two years due to hefty deliveries and relatively slow growth in the crude oil trade. If the slowdown in ordering continues further it will keep fleet growth in check in the later years, which in turn will support tonnage utilisation in the tanker market", Verma added.

2016-05-10 13:30:15

Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) should purchase new fuel efficient vessels to replace the old ones, the company was told by India's standing parliamentary committee on transport.

The recommendation comes in the aftermath of SCI's recovery from its loss making phase since 2011-12, bouncing back to a net profit of Rs.384.41 crore during 2015-16.

Since posting losses for three consecutive fiscal years, from 2011 to 2014, SCI abstained from ordering new tonnage and has not acquired any vessel during 2015-16, and the company has no vessels on order, according to the committee.

SCI had registered losses at a time where the shipping industry was struggling to come out of its unprecedented long recession and the outlook for shipping industry was progressively deteriorating. In order to make up for the sustained losses and to turn itself around, cost reduction measures were undertaken, including fleet reduction steps in the company's liner vessels, dry bulk carriers, tanker and passenger vessels.

Future plans include focus on coastal & near-coastal trade, expansion of break-bulk & project cargo business, optimization of equipment inventory, along with reduction in Opex costs through various initiatives, added the committee.

"The committee understands that some of the ships owned by the SCI are aged and needed to be phased out. The committee recommends that if the international market situations are viable, they may go for purchasing new fuel efficient vessels in place of the old ones," the committee said in a report.

2016-05-10 13:28:58

Impairment chargers related to Odfjell's LPG carrier newbuildings have led the Oslo-listed owner to consider selling off four 17,000cbm vessels it has on order.

The Norwegian group posted a US$2.75m impairment charge in its Q1 2016 financial results, caused by delays to construction of the eight LPG/ethylene carriers it has on order at Nantong Sinopacific, China.

Four of the vessels are 17,000 cbm in cargo capacity, all due to arrive this year. Four 22,000cbm gas carriers were originally slated for delivery this year but have been delayed until 2017.

If Odfjell decides to go ahead with the terminations, the first vessel would be cancelled this month and delivery of the three remaining vessels would be cancelled every three months thereafter.

All installments paid on the newbuildings have been secured by refund guarantees from "reputable financing institutions", Odfjell said.

The first 22,000cbm gas carrier's contractual delivery was scheduled for September, but delays have pushed back delivery until April 2017.

Odfjell said that activity in LPG shipping markets has been "flat" over the past quarter, with active export markets to Asia from both the US and Europe during the first months of the year. Trading is expected to ramp up again after inventory building in the US has been completed, now winter is over in the northern hemisphere.

2016-05-09 17:23:46

The overcapacity in the container shipping sector seems to have finally struck a nerve as owners abstained from ordering new boxship capacity for the first time in years.

According to BIMCO, the first quarter of this year was the first time since the second quarter of 2009 that three months have passed without any new orders signed.

"The lack of orders reflects the very poor market conditions and the fact that 2015 saw 2.2 million TEU being ordered. This was the second ever largest volume of containership capacity ordered annually– second only to 2007 when 3.25 million TEU was contracted," said BIMCO's Chief Analyst Peter Sand.

Owners are staying clear from new orders also due to the delivery of new containership capacity, which BIMCO claims has exceeded its expectations with 240,730 TEU delivered into the fleet in Q1.

On the other hand, recycling of superfluous ships has been stepped up slightly in 2016, with 105,509 TEU leaving the fleet.

As a result, the net growth of the fleet in Q1 was 0.7%. For the full year BIMCO expects 3.4%, slightly up from its January estimate.

March saw the record broken for the largest containership ever to be demolished. The 15 year-old, 6,479TEU post-panamax "CSAV Papudo" was sold to breakers in India at a strong US$295 per ldt and became only the second ship with a capacity of more than the 6,000 TEU to be demolished. By mid April, owners have sent 115,570 TEU to the breakers primarily in India.

However, years of negative fleet growth need to pass for the suplly-demand balance to be restored, as BIMCO's forecast of 250,000 TEU to be broken up in 2016 only cuts into the fleet by a fraction representing 1.26% of the current fleet size.

Separately, the one-sided focus on cutting costs per transported TEU by ordering ever larger ships continues along the lines of "bigger is better", added BIMCO.

In 2015, 119 ships with a 10,000+ TEU capacity accounted for 87% of the total new capacity being ordered. The other 118 ships ordered, ranging in size from 1,000 TEU to 5,300 TEU accounted for only 13%.

This year, the average containership size for delivered ships is going down from the all-time-high 7,952 TEU in 2015 to around 7,000 TEU per ship.

In terms of outlook, BIMCO does not expect demand to grow at a pace needed to match the capacity of new ships entering the fleet.

Hence, extensive idling of the modern and efficient ships in the fleet and continued demolition of the inefficient ships will improve the market both in the short and mid-term.

"For the longer term management of capacity, a low level of contracting for newbuildings must be maintained. 2016 is off to a good start on all these parameters," concludes Sand.

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