Charles Maltby, chairman and CEO of Epic Gas, has a challenge for all those in shipping outside of LPG. No other sector, he posits, can beat LPG for its low orderbook, something that might finally turn the tide for gas prospects after a tricky few years.
Remarkably there are just six pressurised LPG carriers under construction around the world today, none of which have been ordered by Epic. Epic has been through its growth spurt already; its fleet today stands at 41 vessels for a combined 273,100 cu m giving it a solid 17% global market share of the segment.
Any further additions look likely to be secondhand ones for Maltby and Epic.
“Right now the newbuild prices are set relatively high, and with uncertainty over IMO tier III designs there remain considerable complexities both technically and commercially,” says Maltby, a 26-year veteran in shipping.
“With the ongoing growth in the underlying supply of and demand for LPG globally, combined with the relatively small orderbook – we challenge another bulk shipping sector to have a lower orderbook – we expect market levels to continue to firm,” Maltby says of the markets.
Epic Gas, headquartered in Singapore, was formed in December 2012 via the merger of Epic Shipping and Pantheon.