Because the writing is on the wall concerning the use of earth-based fuels like oil and gasoline – the climate change brigade wants these made obsolete – the owners of tankers that use such products are holding out on ordering new ships until it becomes clear the direction the "clean" energy industry is going to take.
"To decarbonize shipping, you either need an onboard carbon-capture system (which doesn't exist yet) or to build new vessels that burn something other than fuel oil," reported Greg Miller, writing for Freight Waves.
"The regulations on this new fuel haven't been written yet. So, why would tanker owners in the business of making money accept the residual-value risk of ordering ships that could be prematurely obsolete after the rules are written? ... The answer is: They haven't and they won't. There is now a historically low number of crude and product tankers on order."
(Related: Check out our earlier coverage about the dismal state of the American food supply chain due to covid.)
The situation is almost as severe on the product tanker side, the orderbook-to-fleet ratio of which has cratered to just 6.1 percent. And once again, it is because nobody wants to order new ships that rely on fuel technologies that are slated for tougher regulations.
"We are now seeing what happens when you go several years without investing [in new capacity]," said Jefferies analyst Omar Nokta about the dire situation.
Crude and product tanker owners only just recently started making money again after several dismal years of covid-induced supply chain failures, with 2020 and 2021 being the two worst years for the industry in 30 years.
"There is a two- to three-year lag between when an order is placed and when a new tanker is delivered," Miller further explained about how the industry typically works. "These assets last 20-25 years. Thus, a newbuild ordered today will likely be in service in 2050."
"If the world is actually decarbonizing and shifting away from consumption of dirty fossil fuels, what are tankers ordered today going to carry in the latter years of their life spans?"
The answer, of course, is that they will potentially carry nothing, hence why nobody is placing any new orders. In essence, the global shipping industry appears to be screeching to a halt, both due to climate hysteria and covid hysteria, which together have decimated both the tanker industry and global supply chains at large.
According to Bob Burke, CEO of Ridgebury Tankers, the overall lack of tank orders has nothing to do with capital discipline, which does not even exist in a market like this.
"It's just not in our own best interest to order expensive ships with uncertainty over propulsion systems," he said.
"For a ship that will be delivered two and a half years from now, at historically high prices, with a capital drag until delivery and when you don't know whether the propulsion system is going to last very long, it is really hard for a shipowner to go out and take a flier on something like that without a charter from an oil company."
The only people currently placing orders for new tankers either have some kind of tax incentive to do so or they are receiving backing from a longer-term charter, "typically for a dual-fuel design," added Maersk Tankers CEO Christian Ingerslev.
"Otherwise, there's nothing being ordered."
More related news can be found at GreenTyranny.news.
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