Euronav Continues Fleet Modernization Ordering Two Suezmax Tankers
Euronav continues to move forward aggressively with its efforts at the modernization of its fleet as one of the few large crude oil tanker operators ordering new vessels. The company confirmed earlier reports that it has ordered two additional Suezmax tankers and as part of the effort to future-proof the fleet, the vessels will be made ready for alternative fuels.
South Korea’s DH Shipbuilding reported in September that it had obtained an order from the Belgian shipping company for two additional Suezmax tankers. DH completed two earlier Suezmax tankers for Euronav late in 2021. The shipyard highlighted that while the overall volume of orders for ships has risen over the past two years, orders for tankers have been declining because shipping companies are more cautious about their orders. DH reported the Euronav order along with a new order from Atlas Maritime noting that it was the only shipyard at the end of last year to receive orders for large new crude oil tankers.
According to BIMCO, orders for new tankers are at their lowest level. For example, in the first half of this year, they reported tanker orders were just 1.6 million dwt. The previous low mid-year mark was 3 million dwt. The number of tankers ordered is about just a quarter of the historic number of vessels ordered each year.
“Euronav has been able to source a highly competitive contract with a very attractive delivery schedule. Sustained elevated contracting activity from other shipping segments has reduced available capacity to build crude tankers, at a time when the sector needs to replace maturing vessels with more environmentally friendly designs,” said Hugo De Stoop, Euronav CEO commenting on the new order. “With this contract, adding to the two Suezmaxes delivered earlier this year and three other Suezmax newbuildings under construction, Euronav is tangibly driving innovation, investing in the energy transition and showing agility in seizing another opportunity to further rejuvenate our Suezmax fleet.”
The latest order is for two sister ships to the Suezmax tankers Cedar and Cypress built by Daehan and commissioned by Euronav at the beginning of 2022. Each of the vessels is 899 feet in length and 157,310 dwt. The two new sister ships are due for delivery in the third quarter of 2024.
As part of the effort to protect its investment, Euronav said the vessels will be the latest generation of eco-Suezmax tankers and will be fitted with both exhaust gas scrubber technology and ballast water treatment systems. The vessels will have a structural notation to be LNG ready, and the shipyard and Euronav are working closely to also have a structural notation to be Ammonia and Methanol ready for the new ships.
Euronav said that its owned and operated fleet currently consists of 64 vessels including 39 VLCCs and 23 Suezmax. The company reports it is focused on the modernization of its fleet and the improvement of the fleet consumption and emission profile. The Suezmax portion has an average age after recent sales of 10.7 years while the VLCC fleet is currently averaging 6.6 years. The company has three VLCCs to be delivered and an additional three Suexmaz tankers all due in 2022 and 2023.