Demand for eco-friendly ships surge, with Korea fielding 54% of world’s LNG ship orders

Posted on : 2023-01-06 17:13 KST Modified on : 2023-01-06 17:13 KST
Korea ranked first in orders of eco-friendly ships last year, with its five major shipbuilders claiming orders worth 13.12 million CGT
An LNG-propelled super large container ship (courtesy of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries)
An LNG-propelled super large container ship (courtesy of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries)

Amid surging orders of eco-friendly ships, the category made up more than 60% of global ship orders last year.

Eco-friendly ships refer to those that use green fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas, methanol and electricity.

According to 2022 statistics for the shipbuilding industry released on Thursday by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, global orders of eco-friendly ships amounted to 26.06 million of compensated gross tonnage (CGT), or 62% of the total of 42.02 million CGT. That was double the previous year, when eco-friendly ships made up 32% of the total (17.16 million of 53.62 million CGT).

The ministry’s figures were collated by Clarksons Research, a UK-based organization that analyzes the shipbuilding and shipping markets.

The Trade Ministry attributed the sharp rise in the share of eco-friendly ship orders to the impact of tougher environmental regulations by the International Maritime Organization.

Korea ranked first in orders of eco-friendly ships last year, with its five major shipbuilders claiming orders worth 13.12 million CGT, about 50% of the total. The majority of those ships (92%) will run on LNG, while 5% will run on methanol and 3% on LPG. Korea had a 54% share of the category of LNG-fueled ships, viewed separately.

According to the Ministry’s figures, Korea also had a 58% share (11.98 million CGT) of the category of high value-added ships, which includes large LNG carriers, large container ships and very large crude carriers. Narrowing the focus to large LNG carriers, Korean shipbuilders clinched deals for 10.12 million CGT, representing 70% of the global order total of 14.52 million CGT.

Korean shipbuilders had a 37% share of the market overall, receiving orders for 15.59 million CGT of ships (worth US$45.3 billion). Korea ranked second, following China (49%).

That’s Korea’s highest market share since 2018 (38%), up from 33% the previous year.

Korea was the world’s largest shipbuilder for three years in a row, through 2020, before losing the position to China in 2021 as Chinese companies boosted their orders.

By Kim Young-bae, senior staff writer

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