25k DWT sector growing rapidly
25k DWT STST tanker order surge after 2016 rule change
From January 2016, chemical tanker newbuildings sized 8,000 DWT and above have been required to fit in nitrogen-based inert gas systems. Until that time, newbuilds under 20,000 DWT were not required to have such equipment. This has resulted in an increase in orders for newbuildings in the 25,000 DWT sector as they can carry more cargoes and generate higher profits. Demand for stainless steel (STST) tankers have surged as well, with only STST newbuildings delivered in 2017 (see chart above). As of May 2020, there are 29 ships in this sector scheduled for delivery by 2021, accounting for 20% of the current fleet. This is the fastest growing segment size of the chemical tanker fleet.