Shipowners order vessels to dodge new eco legislation

The number of orders placed at shipyards has increased significantly in recent months. And the figure went off the charts in September. Shipowners are ordering vessels in an effort to dodge new environmental legislation coming into force in January, sources tell ShippingWatch.

Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP/POLFOTO/arkiv

Shipowners have placed more orders with shipyards in September than in any other month in 2015, according to statistics from British brokerage firm Affinity Research LLP. A total of 288 orders for new ships were placed in September and there’s a good reason for that, a number of sources tell ShippingWatch.

January 1, 2016 sees the implementation of new, stricter rules for emission of nitrogen (NOx) known as Tier III rules from fuel in coastal waters in the US and Canada, the so-called ECA zone. This regulation applies to all new ships with keels laid after 1st January 2016, but ships with keels laid before this date will not be subject to the new requirements, which has seen a range of owners speeding up orders. However, the de-facto deadline is October 1st, to give the shipyards time to do this before the turn of the year.

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