John T. Essberger receives third chemical tanker in a series of four

The stainless-steel chemical tanker fleet has been growing gently since 2021. In 2023, the stainless-steel fleet grew by 2% as an additional 27 tankers hit the water during the year. By end-2023, the fleet consisted of 1,421 vessels (23.098m dwt), compared to 1,394 vessels (23.668m dwt) at end-2022.

The willingness of owners to place new orders were dampened by a combination of alternative propulsion premiums and the strength of new building chemical tanker prices in 2023.

BRS shipbrokers data indicates that the stainless-steel orderbook declined by 17% y-o-y during the year. In 2023, a total of 54 vessels were ordered compared to 63 in 2022.

The dual fuel propulsion made up 6 out of the 54 vessels ordered in 2023 (all methanol), a marginal drop from the 8 dual fuel vessels ordered in 2022 (6 LNG, 2 battery powered).

As it is reported by the Luxembourg-based BRS, the drop represents a 2% decline y-o-y, from 13% of the 2022 orderbook to 11% in 2023. While dual-fuel vessels currently account for a small proportion of the fleet, the share is up from only 6% of orders in 2021, which comparably represents a 5% increase from 2021 to 2023.

This demonstrates that chemical tanker owners are slowly making strides to embrace the transition to alternative fuels and help to reach the IMOs interim GHG emission reduction targets.

While the total number of stainless-steel deliveries fell 50% y-o-y, the extent to which it affected the fleet size is offset by an 80% y-o-y decline in stainless steel demolitions. A firm freight market and a soft demolition market had deterred owners from demolishing even their least energy-efficient vessels.

“In sum, the stainless steel orderbook appears strong with 62 vessels expected for delivery in 2024,” as the shipbroker concludes in its analysis.

As Shipping Telegraph reported last month, John T. Essberger Group of Companies received its third chemical tanker in a series of four newbuildings, according to a post on LinkedIn.

The tanker operator took delivery on January 3 the 6600 dwt duplex stainless steel dual-fuel ship Eberhart Essberger.

“We would like to thank everyone involved, especially the shipyard site team, for their excellent work over the past few months and wish her and her crew safe sailing in the future,” the company reported.