Copenhagen: The boss of Maersk Tankers has warned that overcapacity in the crude sector is here to stay. At her headquarters in Copenhagen Hanne B. Sørensen told Maritime CEO of her firm’s plans to retrofit much of the fleet to weather the earnings storm affecting the tanker segment.
Maersk Tankers has a fleet of 159 ships, both owned and on time charter with no ships on order.
Sørensen described the current market as “very challenging”.
“We cannot dictate market conditions so we are focusing on what we can do ourselves,” the ceo said, elaborating that this meant optimizing the company’s portfolio, its organisation and processes.
“Our first priority,” she continued, “is our retrofitting study.”
Maersk research shows that the tanker outfit can save up to 7% in fuel costs on its VLCCs, which amounts to $800,000 per year per vessel.
The Ilma Maersk has been retrofitted as a pilot and in the next quarter the company will see the results from this test ship.
“If these results confirm our studies,” Sørensen, “we will look at retrofitting large parts of our entire fleet, starting with the VLCC vessels.”
Starting with VLCCs makes sense as it is the crude sector, over products and gas, that worries Sørensen the most.
“The crude segment is the most challenged segment, with historically low rates, and an overcapacity that is not going to disappear in the near future,” Sørensen maintained, helping explain the rationale to put two VLCCs, Maersk Nautilus and Maersk Nucleus in cold lay-up in Brunei Bay.
Sørensen was appointed ceo of Maersk Tankers in 2012. She has been with A.P. Moller Maersk since 1994 and prior to her tanker switch was the chief commercial officer at container shipping firm, Maersk Line. [01/02/13]
NEED TO KNOW: Maersk Tankers
Maersk Tankers owns and operates one of the largest, most modern and most diversified independent fleets in the world, with 159 ships on its books. Fleet is a mix of VLCCs, product tankers and gas carriers. The company acquired its first dedicated tanker 85 years ago. Hanne B. Sørensen was appointed ceo of the company last year.