Cleaner Ships: Surge in Orders for Alternative Fuel Vessels Expected from 2024

Aerial top view of a ship at sea
The shipping industry is seeing a surge in orders for cleaner ships starting in 2024, with a notable increase in alternative fuel vessel orders. Despite a quieter month in March, the overall momentum remains strong, with exponential growth in new orders indicating a rapid expansion of the alternative fuel fleet.
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The shipping industry is showing progress in transitioning to cleaner ships, with a significant increase in orders for alternative propulsion vessels expected from 2024. In March 2024, five new orders were received for methanol, ammonia, and LNG-powered ships. Despite a quieter month, orders for alternative fuel vessels in the first quarter of 2024 increased by 50% compared to the previous year, with a total of 68 orders.

DNV’s global decarbonization director, Jason Stefanatos, highlighted the exponential growth in alternative fuel vessel orders, with a focus on the expansion of the LNG and methanol fleets. Methanol has overtaken LNG as the preferred alternative fuel for new ships, signaling progress in the industry’s decarbonization efforts. The ammonia fleet has also seen growth, with five new orders in 2024 and potential for further expansion.

In 2023, a total of 298 alternative fuel propulsion ships were ordered out of 1,281 total orders, representing an 8% increase from the previous year. The shift towards cleaner ships is evident in the increasing demand for alternative propulsion vessels, with market conditions indicating continued growth in the coming months and years. Orders for ammonia-fueled ships are on the rise, showing a positive trend in the shipping industry’s efforts to transition to more sustainable practices.

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