"Flavour of the Month" Eco-Ships Are Not For Mainstream Shipping

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday April 23, 2013

Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) CEO Nikolas Tsakos has called so-called eco-ship newbuilds the "flavour of the month" that simply don't make financial sense for the majority of shipowners, Tradewinds reports.

"For the mainstream shipping, I think any vessel which is 10 years or younger can, by spending a minute percentage of what you need to spend on a ship as a newbuilding you can achieve very similar results," Tsakos said.

"And as owners, and I am the vice chairman of INTERTANKO, which actually represents all of the independent tanker owners, we put caution because there's a lot of easy money floating around and … the flavour of the month happens to be the super eco ships."

Although Tsakos acknowledged that the eco newbuildings make sense for large container vessels and possibly VLCCs, he believes those ordering such vessels could be caught out in the same way as those who bought the first double hulled tankers.

"When we started building double, double, most of those ships were built without the center line bulkheads and they ended up being untradeable after two or three years," he said.

"So, like everything, this first generation of vessels, we are not going to enter and actually add insult to injury by building ships, because our ships right now are more than enough and are economic, as they support the first-generation super eco ships that people are building left and right, and, unfortunately, will hurt the market."

Earlier in the month Per Wistoft, CEO of Brightoil Shipping Singapore, also warned against the claimed benefits of eco-ships, saying it was a marketing tool used by shipyards to sell the ship.