Mid East shipowners place $5.5billion newbuild orders

UASC leeds the way with $2.3billion order.


Shipping companies in the Middle East have close to US$5.5 billion of newbuilds on order.

In a clear indication that shipping in the region is set to boom, new figures from online evaluation and mapping service VesselsValue.com indicate that Middle East companies have 87 vessels on order for a total of $5.4billion.

That’s an average of almost $6.3m per vessel, although some of the larger, more eco-friendly designs, such as the Ultra Large Container Vessels ordered by the United Arab Shipping Company, cost up to $160m per vessel.

UASC is the biggest spender in the region, having placed orders totalling $2.3 billion.

The Oman Shipping Company has also placed a large order, with $576m on order for a total of 11 vessels, mostly medium range chemical product tankers.

Other Middle East companies with notable orders include the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which has an order totalling $504m, the joint venture between Qatar’s Nakilat and Greece’s Maran, Maran Nakilat, which has an order for two Very Large LNG Carriers totalling $379m and Dubai’s Tristar Transport which has an order for six vessels totalling $231m.

VesselsValue.Com Chief Executive Richard Rivlin says the Middle East’s growing order book is a good sign for the maritime industry in the region.

“The Middle East is responsible for $5.4 billion worth of newbuilds. The current newbuild order book for the whole of the shipping industry peaks in 2014, with $67.8 billion worth of vessels to be delivered this year. However, the Middle East can expect vessels to be delivered consistently over the next three years, showing continued growth when compared to larger maritime centres such as Greece,” Rivlin told ASC.

He says nearly half of the vessels are ULCVs on order from UASC, however bulkers, MR tankers and Large LNG carriers are also popular.

Ali Lakhani, Senior Vice President of Dubai Trading Agency, says the shipping industry is seeing improvements in most of the shipping sectors after almost seven years of depressed markets since 2008 and believes the UAE is poised to take advantage of this upswing.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for the UAE to become one of the world’s major shipping hubs attracting shipowners, banks, brokers and agents in the region,” Lakhani said.

“With major offshore projects, port expansion, new container terminals, EXPO 2020 and one of the highest growth areas the timing is right to attract the world’s shipping community to our shores,” he added.

Middle East shipowners have placed most of their orders for newbuildings with South Korean yards, with a total of 422 vessels from the current fleet built there. There are a further 257 built from Japan, 123 from China and 44 from Germany.

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