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Greek shipowners invest $5.6bn in newbuilds so far this year

Greek shipowners invest $5.6bn in newbuilds so far this year
Even in these times of hardship the renewal of the Greek fleet continues at a pace. To mid-October, a total of 118 ships have been ordered by Greek interests since 1 January for a committed investment of just over $5.6bn.

At the same time, Greeks have been buyers of tonnage being sold off the berth and so far this year just on $3bn has been invested in 42 units.

Research by Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Intelligence underscores the ordering preference has been for energy ships with some 70 tankers and 15 gas ships, the majority LNG carriers, ordered. However, the off the berth buying has involved 23 dry cargo ships, including one container ship.

Though the move to energy ships is worldwide, according to Clarksons Research Services the 4.3m gt booked by Greeks this year is double the 2.2m gt booked by China and the 1.95m gt ordered by Japanese owners. Just 15 bulk carriers have been inked by Greeks so far this year, along with 16 container ships. Two offshore supply vessels were booked by the Callimanopulos group.

Mid-October, Greek shipping interests had a confirmed 463 ships on order, the Naftiliaki research reveals. Impressive as this Greek orderbook is, it is some 66 ships less than 12 months ago. However, the 46.69m dwt now on order is just 1.65m dwt less than at the same stage in 2014, reflecting the fact bigger ships are being ordered now.

Indeed, there are 141 tankers now on order, 12 more than a year ago, as the switch in interest on the part of Greek owners from bulk carriers to tankers gained momentum as the year progressed.

In a year when contracting new ships is under real pressure and lagging far behind previous years, Clarksons Research Services notes ordering has become more consolidated with the major ship operators in the top 10 owning countries doing most of the business.

Clarksons says the volume of tonnage ordered by the “top 10” owner countries, is down 30% on the first six months of 2014, while ordering by countries outside of this mix is down just over 60% year-on-year.

The consolidation trend is evident in the Greek ordering with some 53 of the Greek companies with ships on order associated with the 72 operations running fleets of over 1m dwt and 35 of the companies building ships are among the 56 with fleets of 20 vessels or more.

Further, the ships being ordered are usually eco friendly, with Greek interests being involved in projects aimed at producing more efficient and environment friendly vessels.