Large swathe of the tanker fleet nearing retirement age

Around one in four tankers are approaching retirement age, something that could increase with impending new green regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

According to UK tanker broker Gibson, depending on the segment, between 20% to 30% of the tanker fleet is over 15 years old and will be approaching their natural retirement age over the next few years.

Looking to the 2023 implementation of IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulations, Gibson noted in its latest weekly report: “As ageing tankers on average consume around 20-25% more bunker fuel than the latest designs, the approaching IMO’s EEXI and CII rules will only speed up the removal of the least completive and least efficient tankers.”

Many ageing tankers with limited trading opportunities have moved into sanctioned Iranian and/or Venezuelan trade over the past 12 months.

Since December last year, tanker newbuild prices have appreciated by around 15% to 25% depending on the sector, Gibson data also shows.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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