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Korean Shipbuilders Land 35.8% of All 204 Methanol-fueled Ship Orders Globally

An eco-friendly methanol-powered petrochemical carrier built and delivered by Hyundai Mipo Shipbuilding.

Posted on August 14, 2023

According to the DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) on Aug. 10, the world’s cumulative orders for methanol-fueled ships (including retrofits) stood at 204 vessels as of the end of July. Of these, Korean shipbuilders accounted for 35.8 percent, or 73 vessels.

Twenty-seven vessels are currently in operation, and the remaining 177 are expected to be delivered to their clients one by one until 2028. By ship type, 143 vessels, or 70.1 percent of the total, were identified as container ships. If limited to container ships only, Korea’s order share will jump to 42.7 percent.

On the other hand, China’s share of total global ship orders in the first half of this year was 58.5 percent, more than double that of South Korea (29.0 percent).

Orders for methanol-fueled carriers have been on a sharp rise recently. In July alone, contracts for the construction or conversion of 48 vessels were signed, surpassing the volume of orders for LNG-powered vessels for the third consecutive month. In fact, methanol-powered ships have accounted for nearly double the share of alternative fuel ships ordered this year. The number of green ship orders is expected to climb down the road.

Korean shipbuilders have enjoyed a first-mover advantage in the methanol-fueled vessel market following an increase in orders for LNG-fueled ships to them for several years, but Chinese shipbuilders have been accelerating their pursuit of Korean shipbuilders recently.


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