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Handelsblatt: Greek shipowners benefit from rising gas prices

Greek shipowners are taking advantage of higher gas prices and Europe’s efforts to reduce its dependence on Russia, as they have invested in tankers carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) in time, the financial newspaper Handelsblatt reports.

According to the newspaper, the gas crisis is forcing Europe to reconsider its dependence on Russia, and in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is a risk of supply shortages. LNG can help secure Europe ‘s supply, the report said.

“This is good news for Greek shipowners, as they have invested heavily in recent years in the construction of LNG tankers and today have the most modern fleet of these specialized ships in the world,” the newspaper said, citing data from the Vessels database. Value, according to which Greece had at the end of 2021 LNG tankers worth $ 19.11 billion. This puts Greek shipowners at the top of the world, with Japan second with $ 18.1 billion and China third with $ 10.5 billion. Until now, German shipowners were almost completely unaware of this trend, with their respective fleets being worth just $ 440 million.

The Greek LNG fleet increased last year from 82 to 105 units, while on average the ships are only 5.3 years old. In addition, of the 127 LNG tankers currently under construction, 57 are owned by Greek shipowners.

According to Handelsblatt, global LNG trading volume has doubled in the last decade and Greek shipowners have identified the trend towards liquefied natural gas early on, investing in such tankers since the 1990s. In fact, they had a significant influence on the design of ships, such as the development of very light gas tanks. Until now, the ships of Greek shipowners have been chartered mainly in Asia, as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are traditionally the largest buyers of LNG. One of the most important suppliers in the same region is Australia. The United States, meanwhile, is becoming one of Europe’s most important suppliers of natural gas. They are even expected to surpass Australia and Qatar and become the largest LNG exporters in the world.

Since the beginning of 2016, the publication continues, the tariffs for LNG tankers have increased sixfold. “Shipowners are also benefiting from the current crisis, as rising gas prices are boosting fares. While the daily price for a 160,000-cubic-meter vessel was $ 50,000 at the end of September 2021, more than $ 200,000 was already being paid by in October and beyond “, explains the author and notes that market observers expect a reduction in prices within 2022, however the transfer of LNG is estimated to remain an extremely profitable transaction, as its transfer possibilities are limited. In fact, according to observers of the Greek shipping market, the global demand for LNG capacity will double by 2040.

The article also refers to the construction of an LNG terminal off the coast of Alexandroupolis, by the Greek-Bulgarian consortium Gastrade, which, with a special floating installation, will be able to deliver LNG to tankers from 2023, where it will be temporarily stored and then refueled. “Alexandroupolis can thus play an important role in the energy security of Southeastern Europe. It would technically be possible to supply gas to even Moldova and Ukraine through the facility,” Gastrade told Handelsblatt.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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