The looming sulphur emissions regulations and its potential impact on the shipping markets is by far the most talked-about subject so far this year. Although the jury is still out there for their pros & cons, we see a clear trend emerging as a rising number of owners opt-in to fit their fleets – or at least part of them – with scrubbers.
We’ve studied the orderbook in an attempt to gauge the uptake levels specifically in the VLCC segment. The current VLCC orderbook stands at 117 vessels* and 79 of these orders are confirmed scrubber-fitted vessels. All VLCCs currently being built in South Korean shipyards and more than 70% of the ones in Japan are scheduled to be fitted with scrubbers. There is less clarity as to the orders at Chinese shipyards, but we understand owners are in talks with the yards. All in all, we believe this trend will continue and that vast majority of the VLCCs currently on order – if not all – will deliver with scrubbers on-board.
It will be interesting to see if this trend will transfer to the trading fleet too, especially after big names such as Frontline and DHT have announced their plans recently. We believe more will follow suit in coming weeks…
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