After the pandemic faded in early 2022, the Ukraine War outbreak in Feb 2022 caused a shock across the globe, with sharp increases in energy prices and rising inflation rates to levels unseen for decades.
Such developments disrupted the ship repairs costs & time once again, to a variable degree per major repair hub/region, causing considerable increases in yard services and steel renewal rates, labour/machinery repair costs, adversely affecting repair completion time and causing congestion in yards (combined with deadlines for fitting BWT systems & Scrubber units).

Having reviewed our case files in this respect, in this article we elaborate on the effects and consequences of the Ukraine war outbreak and sharp rise of energy costs and rising inflation rates, after a comparison of repair costs charges/tariffs based on our records for 2021, 2022 & 2023 (6 months – up to end of June), together with our comments thereof, incorporating the latest developments as summarized hereunder:

A. China / Singapore – East Asia

  • Despite the global inflation rates, the general impression for the first half of 2023 is that the shipyards tariffs and charges in China are maintained at generally stable and competitive levels (or even in cases, slightly less than before), without any apparent inflation in repair cost levels compared with 2022.
    Thus, Yards in China remain a competitive and preferred option for damage repairs (always subject to drydocking space availability per circumstances prevailing.
  • As widely known, all shipyards in China had previously imposed various Covid control measures / restrictive policies, such as crew Covid test, shipboard disinfection, quarantine, etc., which remained in place throughout the 2nd half of 2022, resulting in delays and increased cost of damage repairs.
  • However, in December 2022, Chinese Government gradually uplifted all Covid related restrictions, a positive development which apparently gave a boost to the ship repair industry in terms of material, transportation, spare parts delivery, competitive labor costs etc.
    Also, following the lifting of Covid related restrictions in Dec 2022, Yards waived any additional fees relating to Covid-19, consequently resulting to substantial savings in the overall repair costs per repair project (depending on nature/extent/time) in the region of USD 50K-100K, as compared to end of 2022, by way of agency costs and extra yard services reduction, elimination of Covid restrictions costs, less costly and timely service engineer attendance, improved spare part delivery time/cost, etc.
  • Thus, recent yard tariffs/charges regarding steel works, coating works and machinery works (in terms of both labour and spare parts), indicate no inflation for the first half of 2023, compared to 2022.
  • As an example, indicative typical base steel renewal unit cost and average resulting steel renewal costs remain unchanged since 2021, as indicated in the table below:
    steel renewal unit base price USD 2.0 ~ 2.6 / KG
    steel price after applying percentage increment USD 3.2 ~ 7 / KG
  • In view of the above, and since the additional difficulty of Covid-19 restrictive policies has now been eliminated, China is set to remain as a leader in the ship repair industry, both for damage repairs and routine drydocking works.


B. Turkey

As compared to our previous bulletin on repair costs in TR shipyards the following developments apply, due to both global but also sharp local inflation rates sharp increases, namely:

  • There is a high rise in labour costs due to TR economy high inflation rates – affecting all repair costs. Average percentage increments on base unit cost have also been subjected to inflation, always subject to scope and quantum of renewals.
  • An increase of 100% (even more) is reported by yards on the supply cost of steel materials, when comparing 2021 vs 2022. Such inflation is expected to further increase by 25% – 30% in the 2nd half of 2023. Nevertheless, such increase in materials supply cost is NOT reflected proportionally on the reciprocal steel renewal charges % increases, which are kept to much lower levels, for maintaining a competitive commercial position as a leader in steel renewal repairs in the Mediterranean Sea basin.
  • In this respect, Yards are currently ‘sustaining’ a significant decrease on the profit margin for steel works, also combined with the significant increase on the labour costs due to continuous domestic inflation rate hikes.
    The indicative typical currently applicable steel renewal rates and % running inflation rate are shown in the table below.

    Items Average rate in 2021 Average rate in 2022 Average rate in 2023

    Expected Percentage Inflation (%)

    (2022 vs 2023)

    steel renewal unit base price USD 2.8 ~ 3.2 / KG USD 4.0 ~ 4.5 / KG USD 4.5 ~ 5.5 / KG 25% ~ 30%
    steel price after applying percentage increment USD 4.0 ~ 4.5 / KG USD 5.0 ~ 5.5 / KG USD 5.5 ~ 6.5 / KG
    • Moreover, the main factor in Tuzla region for delays & thus higher overall resulting costs remains the non-availability of dry-docking space (currently both Tuzla and Yalova repairs zones are extremely congested without dry-docking slots readily available). This affects both time / cost of repairs on account of damages “discovered’ in addition to those scheduled prior vessels’ calling at yard. In such cases, extended time both at berth or in DD is being charged at higher dry-docking dues than originally quoted. Such issues are also causing repair time delays until next availability.

    Nevertheless, despite all the above, Turkish Shipyards and repair industry remain competitive and economical overall, as far as prevailing tariffs, repair / maintenance period and quality are concerned, thus a major repair hub in the East Med and a valid choice.


    C. Greece

    Perama repair Zone is seeing increased vessels’ calls for both routine Class crediting works and dry-dockings, as well as damage repairs.

    Since its reactivation in November 2022, Elefsis Shipyard (also under ONEX group management) is enjoying the support of Greek Shipping with numerous vessels calling for damage repairs.

    In latest news, on 11th July 2023 the re-activation of first floating dock materialized, able to accommodate vessel’s up to 75,000 DWT, with another two floating docks (22K and 120K DWT) currently under reactivation works and soon to be delivered.

    Moreover, privatization procedures of Hellenic Shipyards (Skaramangas) have now been officially completed, with the yard having been taken over under the G.Prokopiou  group ownership and management, pending re-activation for commercial operations/contracts.

    Once Elefsis Shipyard is restored to full DD capacity and Skaramangas Shipyard re-open for commercial business, Piraeus ship repair scene is expected to greatly restore status/capacity to previous high efficiency years.

    Finally, Perama based contractors remain a valid and highly skillful competitive option for both hull and machinery repairs afloat, alongside Perama Repair Zone repair quays (or double berthing), providing a wide variety of repair options and solutions.

    Having summarized the overview of current developments above, we would refer to the effects of inflation and energy prices hike on current yard/contractors’ tariffs and damage repair costs in brief summary hereunder, as follows:

    • Steel material purchase price now averages Eur 1.40-1.60/kgas opposed to Eur 0.7/kg since 2020 up to Jan 2022 (before the war) & 1.25/kg in 2021 to 2,60/kg in summer 2022 (after the war outbreak). As Greek contractors were previously outsourcing steel material, plates & profiles from Ukraine, this option has been significantly altered after the war outbreak, resulting to skyrocketing of steel supply costs.
    • A 100% rise in pipe purchase prices experienced (for 1”-6” diam)
    • Steel renewal average base unit rate of Eur 9.0/Kg applies for Perama Zone, with exceptional cases where a base unit rate of Eur 6.0 / Kg was applied (as a rock bottom).
    • The overall resulting steel renewal unit rates after application of % increments, varies between EUR 10.0 and 15.0/KG on average depending on nature, quantum & location of renewals.
    • Yards congestion with scrubber/WBT systems sustains berth/DD slots availability limited.

    Perama based contractors for machinery repairs report inflation rise since 2020/2021 (due to war outbreak), as indicated below:

    • A 50% rise in new equipment / machinery / components purchase cost.
    • Adding to that is a 100-120 % rise in transport/freight costs, with a correction tendency to lower rates.
    • Raw materials purchase inflation by 20-30%, escalating to anything between 100-150% inflation for specialized materials (eg. stainless steel).
    • Minimum delivery times of 3 to 4 months upon order experienced until recently, however now drastically improving.
    • Labour cost has risen by 20-30%


    D. Gibraltar Strait – Spain, Portugal & Canary Island

    Our Gibraltar office surveyors, who operate and attend in all shipyards across Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands report as follows on the main aspects of interest for damage repair costs and inflation thereof:

    D1. Gibraltar – Spain

    • Drydocking dues / General Services: An average increase of 10-15% applies between 2021 & 2023, with electrical power costs reaching as high as 20%.
    • The average unit steel renewal costs and inflation thereof are indicated in the table below:
    Items Average rate in 2021 Average rate in 2022 Average rate in 2023 Percentage Inflation (%)

    steel renewal deck/shell & bottom plating

    base price

    USD 9-10.00 / KG USD 10-11.00 / KG USD 12-14.00 / KG 20-25%
    • Labour costs for machinery repairs were subjected only to 10% inflation on average, without any apparent inflation on coating works.

    D2. Portugal

    • Drydocking dues / General Services: Unlike Spain, NO significant inflation was observed on DD dues and services between 2022 & 2023, with increases in electrical power costs reaching 10-15% on average.
    • The average unit steel renewal costs and inflation thereof are indicated in the table below:
      Items Average rate in 2021 Average rate in 2022 Average rate in 2023 Percentage Inflation (%)

      steel renewal deck, shell & bottom plates

      base price

      USD 8-9.00 / KG USD 10-11.00/ KG USD 12-13.00/ KG 15%


    D3. Canary Island

    Drydocking at Las Palmas is limited to Astican syncrolift capacities and 7 docking slots (12.000 MT, Lmax: 190m and Bmax: 28.5m) and Zamakona slipway max capacities 5500 MT 5 slipways ready to dry dock ships of maximum dimensions of 123 meters long and 21 meters beam.
    Also available in Astican is a 120 meters long wharf/repair quay with a maximum draught of 7 meters, for repairs afloat.

    NB. It has been recently announced that a new floating dock will be soon available at Tenerife Shipyard (Hidramar Group) next year, with reported capacity to accommodate vessels up to 200 m length (Capacity and commencement of operations to be confirmed).

    Otherwise, the following apply with regards to repair costs inflation:

    • Similarly to Portugal, NO significant inflation was observed on DD dues and services between 2022 & 2023 (including electrical power costs).
    • The average unit steel renewal costs, which are not subjected to any apparent inflation since 2021 thereof, are indicated in the table below:
    Items Average rate in 2021 – 2023 Percentage Inflation (%)

    steel renewal deck, shell & bottom plates

    base price

    USD 7-7.75 / KG No apparent inflation



    It is significant and to the mutual benefit of both the Shipping and Insurance industries that there is not any notable inflation in yard tariffs and repair costs. Thus, China remains a leading and cost-effective repair hub, currently perhaps only showing a limited Drydocking availability/slots for emergency unscheduled repairs due to congestion on Class related works involving also bookings by large fleets under the same Ownership / Management.


    Despite a continuing local economy high inflation, shipyard tariffs / repair costs are kept under control as much as possible by the local shipyards for maintaining commercial competitiveness, thus, Tuzla/Yalova repair zones remaining the most competitive and cost-effective repair hubs in the Mediterranean Sea basin.


    The full re-activation of the shipyards and the re-birth of the local ship repair/shipbuilding industry under private ownership and management is already a fact and rapidly progressing/materializing. Although repair tariffs / costs vs Turkey, are subjected to the Eur/Usd exchange rates fluctuation and may be somewhat higher, the Perama Repair Zone and Elefsis/Syros shipyards (under the ONEX group management), still present a competitive and time / cost effective choice for damage repairs, with particularly qualified and skillful private contractors particularly for machinery repairs, whilst Chalkis and Spanopoulos shipyards are now expected to maintain / upgrade standards since healthy competition has entered the market. A problem currently faced is the limited or even non availability of DD slots for e/cy – unscheduled repairs, which is expected to drastically improve in the near future when Elefsis & Hellenic shipyards drydocking capacity is added to the play.

    Gibraltar-Spain/Portugal/Canary Islands:

    Although traditionally a generally more costly option if compared to the remainder three repair regions above, it seems that it has not been significantly affected by the inflation caused by the energy costs disruption after the outbreak of the Ukrainian war. Only a mere 10% – 15% hike on average is observed for Spain steelwork and DD dues, whilst there were no noteworthy effects or inflation generated increases applicable in Portugal or Canaries (Las Palmas). This consists a positive development for the Shipping & Insurance industries, as the shipyard/repair facilities in SW Europe (Spain, Portugal and Las Palmas on emergency circumstances) were always proven to be either the most cost-effective alternative (as compared to Western France and NW Europe) or frequently the only option for casualties occurring in the Atlantic/West Africa areas or vessels towed therefrom.


    Finally, shipyards in Spain & Portugal, have successfully achieved at relatively competitive cost/time, some highly demanding and complex repair projects, which our surveyors of Gibraltar & Piraeus offices have attended, such as large scale 2-stroke engines (MAN/Wartsilla) repairs involving, crankshaft or even bedplate renewal / machining, or even – in Gibdock/Gibraltar- complex fire damage repairs on high technology PSV’s and Fishing factory trawlers, thus constituting an important regional repair option/hub.