The size distribution of tankers 5,000-80,000 dwt to be phased out of the oil trades according to MARPOL 13G is quite different from the size distribution of the orderbook, said INTERTANKO's Manager of Research and Projects Erik Ranheim at the Lloyd's List's 7th Product Tanker Conference in London this week.
There are about 28m deadweight tons of single-hull tankers 5,000-80,000 dwt to be phased out - including single hull and double bottom/side petroleum tankers and oil/chemical tankers, but excluding chemical tankers. The orderbook in this size range is about the same size. However whereas some 63% of the fleet (in tonnage terms) to be phased out consists of smaller tankers below 30,000 dwt, only 32% of the orderbook (in tonnage terms) is in this size range.
On the other hand there are some 173 larger tankers in the size range 30,000 dwt- 80,000 dwt to be phased out compared to an orderbook in this larger size range of some 330 tankers. These phase-out figures are based on the information used by the IMO Group of Experts that evaluated the consequences of accelerated phase-out after the PRESTIGE accident, and have been adjusted for sales for decommissioning and conversion, as well as on the basis of information received from brokers and owners.
It should be noted, however, that whereas the phase-out period is until 2015 (including any flag state (and port state) extensions), the orderbook for 2008 and beyond has still to be filled and is therefore an unknown quantity
. There is still uncertainty over whether there will actually be a market for single-hull tankers that have been extended by their flag state to trade between 2010 and 2015 until they are 25 years old. Some 10 m dwt of the tanker fleet below 80,000 dwt (or 35% of the fleet) would be due to be phased out this year if the rest of the world took the same stance as the EU countries and barred single-hull trading after 2010, however, a number of countries have already declared that further trading is possible. For the latest list of countries that have declared their phase-out intentions http://www.intertanko.com/phaseout/issue.asp?topic_id=151
Ranheim said that no information has been received indicating that the phase-out regulations are not being properly implemented, but among the smaller tankers there is still a 'phase-out overhang' of ships that should in theory have disappeared from the market. Almost 200 smaller tankers are left in the records that should have been phased out before 2005. These ships may however be trading in domestic trades, in non-petroleum products, some may have been converted to PL/SBT, and some may trade in countries that have not signed up to MARPOL.