Shipowners, who have been desperately concentrating on cost reduction amid protracted market depression, become more skeptical about investment in high-value eco-design newbuildings.
Some shipyards with shrinking orderbook do give a sales pitch, however, significant number of shipping companies or shipowners with financial problems seem to be difficult in making a bold decision to invest in newly developed newbuildings.
John Coustas, Chief executive of New York-listed shipowner Danaos, opposed to heated promotion on Eco-design vessels, while Technomar of Greece and other shipowners revealed that eco ships will reduce considerable amount of fuel costs.
Coustas said eco ships will never repay owners' investment and insisted that results from eco-vessel design features were "Still on paper".
He said that owners had been "swamped by information from shipyards" and pointed out "It is foolish to build a ship which will be optimised at such a low speed".
During recently held 'Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum', he said "It is questionable what you will save in actual operation" and added that most of shipyards provide shorter and wider ships in new eco-designs, but these would experience greater resistance, diminish savings, etc., in heavy weathers.
MR Coustas said that investing in around $2m into 8,500-teu secondhand containership, delivered in 2010, and taking on eco-design features, such as engines optimised for low-speed, new propeller, etc. would save more costs than ordering eco-design newbuildings.
According to Mr. Coustas, calculations showed that an owner could make double the returns from an existing 12-year-old 5,000 teu vessel acquired at a market price of about $20m, rather than a new eco-ship for $44m.
Added "Investment in existing ships is more profitable at today's prices, rather than just contributing to flooding the market with a new ship which is definitely going to make a loss."
On the other hand, Technomar boss George Youroukos said that new-design boxship may offer a daily fuel saving of up to 30 tons.
Based on the industry standard of fuel consumption, Technomar calculates its 6,700-teu newbuildings, slated for delivery in 2013, will offer a 22.6% economy over a 6,500-teu boxship of the existing design.
Published : October 30, 2012