The Company has a fleet of 21 vessels at the time of this report including the Nordic Future (2013) which is scheduled to be delivered to us by June15, 2013. By way of comparison, in the autumn of 2004, the Company had three vessels. Please see the fleet list below. We expect that the expansion process will continue over time and that more vessels can be expected to be added to our fleet. Our vessels are employed in the spot market. The average age of our fleet is 10.8 years. Our vessels are in excellent technical condition -- a priority for us.
Vessel Dwt Vessel DwtNordic Apollo 159,999 Nordic Hunter 151,400Nordic Aurora 147,262 Nordic Jupiter 157,411Nordic Breeze 158,597 Nordic Mistral 164,236Nordic Cosmos 159,998 Nordic Moon 159,999Nordic Discovery 153,328 Nordic Passat 164,274Nordic Fighter 153,328 Nordic Saturn 157,332Nordic Freedom 163,455 Nordic Sprite 147,188Nordic Grace 149,921 Nordic Vega 163,000Nordic Harrier 151,475 Nordic Voyager 149,591Nordic Hawk 151,475 Nordic Zenith 158,645 Nordic Future 149,996 Total dwt 3,271,910
The Company continues to move in reducing energy consumption on our vessels. We have previously installed Alpha Lubricators on all our vessels, resulting in important cost savings. In addition, we have installed sliding valves on the main engines across the fleet. This allows our vessels to safely slow steam in order to reduce fuel consumption. We are also testing mechanical equipment that ensures optimal water stream over the propeller, maximizing its efficiency and allowing us to run at the same speed at lower revolutions, resulting in fuel savings. Most of the measures we implement are expected to have a payback time of around a year, and collectively give efficiency gains between 10% and 15%. We continue to keep high technical quality and maintenance of our fleet.
The graph shows the historical bunker prices in $/ton. Based on a daily bunker consumption of 50 tons, a fall in bunker prices of $100/ton represents a $5,000 per day saving per vessel. The quantity and the cost of bunkers consumed are important factors for establishing the time charter equivalent (TCE). A quarter may not be long enough to measure the TCE performance
Link to the graph: http://hugin.info/201/R/1701030/561521.pdf
During 2012, 8 of our vessels were in planned drydock. We have 6 drydockings planned in 2013 of which 2 were undertaken in 1Q2013. In isolation, it is an advantage to dock a vessel in a period when tanker earnings are low as timing is less critical in such a situation. Total off hire (out of service) for 1Q2013 was 177 days for our fleet of which 127 days were planned off hire.
World Economy and the Tanker Market
The outlook for the world economy is uncertain. Seaborne imports of crude oil into the US has decreased over the recent past due to the domestic oil production. We do, however, note that the travel distances of crude oil coming into the US have increased, meaning that ton-miles for crude going to the US has seen a small increase. The economies of the Far East generally show continuing growth. Annual crude imports into China totalled a new record high in 2012. The reduced US seaborne imports are more than compensated by increased import of crude oil to the Far East. Demand for vessels and accordingly our freight rates are driven by ton-miles, that is to say that not only volumes of crude, but also the voyage distance affects tanker demand. Recent data suggests that ton-miles are showing growth in line with the fleet for 2013 as a result not only of economic recovery but changing trade patterns leading to longer voyages.