In the first quarter of 2024, orders for alternative fuelled vessels surged 50% over 2023, totalling 68 compared to 44 in the same period last year.

This continues a steady increase in orders for vessels propelled by less polluting vessels. Since 2021 the liquified natural gas (LNG) fleet has doubled to over 500 operational ships. However, methanol has emerged as a strong alternative to LNG with new orders for methanol powered vessels exceeding those of LNG for the first time.

There has been a small surge in ammonia fuelled vessels with five new orders this year compared to 11 in 2023.

According to DNV, a total of 298 ships with alternative fuel propulsion were ordered in 2023 out of 1,281 total orders, marking an 8% increase compared to the previous year.

The increasing adoption of less polluting fuels is encouraged by the International Maritime Organisations’ drive to decarbonise shipping by 2050. As such, under pressure from shareholders and the IMO and to advance their ESG goals, major shipping lines are adopting alternative fuels as the principal means of propulsion for new builds.

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