Clarksons: 45% of all 2023 newbuild orders alternative fuel capable


Clarksons Research has released its latest Green Technology Tracker, including full year 2023 data points, charting the progress of alternative fuel uptake and investments in energy saving technologies across the global shipping fleet.

Summarising the latest Tracker, Steve Gordon (pictured), Global Head of Clarksons Research, commented: “2023 was a hugely significant year in the shipping industries decarbonisation pathway, with new regulation entering into force and a net zero commitment agreed at IMO. And while we remain only at the start of a vital and unprecedented fleet renewal investment program, a start has been made with 49% of current orderbook tonnage now alternative fuelled.

“Across 2023, we recorded 539 newbuild orders involving alternative fuel capable vessels, 45% of all orders placed by tonnage. The largest share of alternative fuelled orders in 2023 was still LNG dual fuel (220 orders, of which 152 were non LNG Carriers), albeit with an increase to 125 orders of methanol dual fuel vessels in 2023. There were also 55 new orders involving LPG as a fuel and now 4 with Ammonia.

“Reflecting future ‘optionality’, there are 579 in fleet and newbuilds that have LNG ‘ready’ status, 322 that are Ammonia ‘ready’ and 272 that are Methanol ‘ready’. Take-up has also varied across shipping segments, with 83% of containership newbuild capacity ordered this year (rising to 94% including orders with ‘ready’ status) and 79% of car carriers (98% including ‘ready’ orders) ordered with alternative fuel capability but much lower shares in bulk carrier and tanker.

Overall today, 6% of global fleet capacity is alternative fuelled capable (up from 2.3% in 2017), which we project will increase to nearly a quarter of all fleet capacity (23%) by the end of the decade (2030).

“There are other important developments, with ‘eco’ vessels now constituting 32% of global tonnage on the water (as high as 50% in VLCC and Capesize) and the use of innovative Energy Saving Technologies (ESTs) continuing to expand (7,295 vessels in the fleet have significant ESTs, including 47 with wind propulsion). Our tracker also includes 31 in fleet vessels (plus 22 newbuidls) testing onboard carbon capture technology.

With an ageing fleet (12.6 years, up from 9.7 years ten years ago) and our tracking of vessel performance under CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator) in 2023 suggesting over 30% of tonnage will be D or E rated, continued investment in the existing fleet will be critical.

Our tracking of SOx Scrubbers has also increased y-o-y (totalling, including pending retrofits, over 5,590 vessels in the fleet, 27% of global fleet capacity) with 420 vessels retrofitted with a scrubber during 2023 and 321 newbuildings ordered with a scrubber. We also estimate that over 80% of global tonnage is now fitted with a BWMS (Ballast water Management System)”