Thursday, December 23, 2010

Big Yards Searching for Big Orders

After a decade of building new crude carriers for the Alaska trade, new product tankers for the coastal trades and new container carriers and trailer ships for the Jones Act trade, the country’s bigger shipyards are searching for new orders – and the pickings are lean. In October the East Coast’s Aker Philadelphia yard conceded that it has yet to secure fresh contracts and acknowledged that if it is “unable to expand its current backlog, it would be challenging to continue as a going concern”. The yard disclosed that it “has reduced and will continue to adjust its workforce in line with its backlog” and warned that “the challenging US economy continues to delay the decision-making process for newbuilds and creates difficulties regarding financing of newbuild projects”.

Aker Philadelphia delivered the tenth tanker of the 12-ship series it has been building for OSG in August, with the final two OSG ships to be delivery in the first half of next year. OSG had proposed having 25 of the ships built several years ago but a swing to Articulated Tug/Barge (ATB) combinations for petroleum product movement has dented this market.