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The project sector has faced a harsh environment in the past few years. Low oil prices have made it uneconomic to launch new energy projects, resulting in a thinning out of the project cargo industry.

But recent oil price rises have put more projects back on the map, and the industry is gearing up again. Some new projects are giant – the offshore Libra field in Brazil is expected to cost up to $90bn, but needs oil to trade at $55 per barrel to recoup its investment. And 30 more sites are expected across Asia, another 30 in Europe and 20 each in Africa and the Americas.

The rising oil price has combined with cost efficiencies, as well, as a reduction in the time it takes to complete, again boosting demand.

It’s not just traditional energies – a surge in renewable projects has also boosted the project cargo industry.

But during the period of decline, there was a wave of consolidation that some companies believe has limited options for customers. However, unlike in container shipping, consolidation has not limited fleet supply which in a fragmented and competitive market has kept rates for carriers low.

And then there are challenges on the horizon – notably tariffs on steel, which could cause the market to slow again and result in longer lead times.

Read all about it in the latest Long Read: Project Cargo

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