European maritime classification society DNV said that liquefied natural gas-fuelled vessels led the way among the 275 newbuild orders made during 2022.
There were orders for 222 LNG-powered ships, which was 81 percent of total orders placed with the world’s leading shipyards, according to DNV data.
About 74 percent of these orders were for container vessels and Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTCs), while product tankers came in third, representing 9 percent of orders.
DNV said that against all the odds 2022 turned out to be almost on a par with the record year of 2021 for LNG-fueled ship orders, which saw 240 LNG-powered vessels ordered.
The Norwegian class society added that the total count of LNG-fuelled ships in operation and on order now stood at 876.
A total of 104 new LNG-fuelled ships entered operation during 2022, representing 41 percent growth within the sailing fleet.
“A diverse portfolio of LNG-fuelled ships was delivered in 2022, with large crude oil tankers in the lead and container ships in second place,” said Martin Wold, Principal Consultant in DNV’s Maritime Advisory business.
“Far from all are currently operating fully on LNG fuel but there are geographical pockets where LNG is still competitively priced and being bunkered regularly,” explained Wold.
“The underlying growth for LNG fuel is nevertheless very strong and the market will likely return with a boom at some point, with bunkered volumes expected to triple within a very short time span,” he added.
Looking ahead DNV expected 2023 to turn out similar to 2022 in terms of newbuild orders for alternative fuels.
Similar to last year, the vast majority of ships ordered with alternative fuels in 2023 is expected to be LNG dual-fuel vessels.