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Greek shipowners' newbuilding orderbook shrinks

Photo: Dimitri Houtteman - Unsplash Greek flag flying
The Greek newbuilding orderbook is shrinking but the trickle of new contracts being placed for eco-friendly ships, especially energy carrying ships, still makes Greek owners the number one clients for shipbuilders in Asia.

According to Clarksons Research, Greek owners have placed orders for 18 ships worth 589,421 compensated gross tonnage (CGT) with Korean shipbuilders this year, accounting for 20.7% of Korea’s total orders so far this year and making Greece the number one source of its orders.

Orders for VLCC, suezmax and aframax tankers worth some $650m were placed in Korea by four Greek companies earlier this month.

Still, data just published by Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review in its annual update of the Greek orderbook shows there are just over 152 ships on order for 47 Greek owners, the lowest number of ships and contracting companies for years.

The data shows that though Greeks are among the world’s leading operators of dry cargo ships, the current order book is dominated by energy carrying ships, with tankers, LNG and LPG carriers accounting for 82% of the ships on order and 90% of the just over 19.3m dwt. The 85 tankers account for 75% of the dwt contracted.

Though there are 40 fewer ships on order than 12 months ago – and four fewer companies – the fact the book is tanker heavy means the dwt now is only 80,000dwt less than a year ago. By comparison, in October 2017, 58 Greek companies had 240 ships on order  of 26.26m dwt.

Among those to order tanker tonnage in the past few weeks in Korea are Alafouzos / Kyklades Maritime, for two VLCCs; Evangelos Pistiolis / Central Group, two VLCCs; George Procopiou / Dynacom two VLCCs, Anna Angelicoussi / Pantheon Tankers, for two suezmax tankers; Samos Steamship a pair of aframax tankers: Lykiardopoulos / Neda Maritime Agency firmed up an LOI for one firm one option LR 2 tankers: and Peraticos / Pleiades Shipping ordered a 115,000 dwt aframax tanker. George Melissanidis / Aegean Shipping Management, up to three aframax tankers in China.

While big tankers have been the top choice for Greek owners, LPG shipowner Benelux Overseas has contracted two firm, one option 50,000dwt MR scrubber-fitted tankers at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

In addition to tankers, there were 36 LNGs, five LPGs, three container ships and four other ships on order for Greek interests at the beginning of October. Some 90 ships were slated for delivery to Greek owners during 2020 and while there have been some delays, as the bulk were due in the first three quarters of the year most will be trading by the end of 2020.