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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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07/10/19 10:32

“Today’s ships are at risk of rapid obsolescence”

Danilo Fumarola explained why Gestion Maritime decided to sell two 4-years old ships although it is not planning to set aside liquid bulk cargoes

Monaco-based shipping company Gestion Maritime, belonging to the Genoese family Corrado, recently performed a double disposal. Although four years ago it entered the tankers market segment with two newbuildings, the company traditionally dealing with dry bulk cargoes disposed of said assets. The two tankers Stenaweco Andrea Corrado and Stenaweco Caterina Corrado were purchased by the giant Hafnia for over 60 million dollars.

Gestion Maritime managing director Danilo Fumarola explained to Ship2Shore why the company decided to sell the two tankers: “We are not planning to exit the tanker sector, rather we aim at repositioning in view of further significant investments in the same sector, as soon as several conditions are met. The sector is going through a stage characterized by a higher obsolescence rate compared to the dry sector. Oil tankers, also medium-sized ones, must comply with the new essential regulations to reduce the main pollutants (Nox, Sox, Co2 and particulates)”. This is very important for tanker charterers (oil majors and traders), also in light of their corporate and social responsibility policies.

“This is an extremely serious issue. Building ships which eliminate completely or limit the main pollutants to the minimum is now possible, and the available technologies allow to do it with additional costs which are reducing increasingly. In fact, standard ships are at low environmental impact. On the other hand, we are very sceptical about the effectiveness of retrofit systems on the market (for instance scrubbers, ed.) because they do not provide neither a final nor a sustainable solution. On the contrary, we believe that they contribute to accelerate the assets obsolescence rate, and consequently to reduce the level of financial liquidity significantly”, Fumarola explained.

In short, in a few years today’s ships may be replaced by 100% green newbuildings.

“The environmental sustainability issue will cause a rapid ageing of fleets, redefining standards at a speed which at present the market does not seem to perceive”, Gestion Maritime head continued.

“This issue implies and epoch-making challenge for shipping companies, also in the absence of a detailed regulatory framework related to the parameters to comply with within 2023, 2025, 2030 and 2050. The traditional resistance to change characterizing our industry will not produce value added and embracing the future with a flexible and reactive structure will become a critical factor of competitiveness”.

Fumarola seemed to be quite sure about the future scenario: “Although the IMO is preparing an exact and timely plan, several States are already adopting specific measures and strategies in order to accelerate the process related to the measuring and reduction of pollutants, together with the definition of deterrence and penalisation measures for subject not complying with the new standards”.

In conclusion, “Avoiding pollution implies costs, which will be amortized over time. However, polluting will imply much higher costs, thus creating a new trade-off to the advantage of next-generation ships, and to the detriment of the existing ones”.

Nicola Capuzzo

TAG : Tanker
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