The company has been preparing for the new environmental regulations, by ordering 21 scrubbers for its fleet, with options for an additional 18 scrubber systems. Consequently, TORM signed a letter of intent for installations on up to an overall of 39 vessels, or approximately half of TORM’s fleet.
In addition, Christopher H. Boehringer, Chairman of the Board noted that the 2020 sulphur cap regulations have a positive impact on the tanker market, as the demand for clean petroleum products is increasing.
Moreover, TORM collaborated with the scrubber manufacturer ME Production and the Chinese yard GSI to manufacture scrubbers in China, for both newbuilds and retrofitted vessels.
TORM closed 2018 with an EBITDA of USD 121 million, compared to USD 158 million in 2017. The 2018 loss before tax amounted to USD 33 million, against a profit of USD 3 million seen a year earlier.
According to the company's annual report, in the Q3 of 2018 freight rates reached historically low levels because of reduced trading volumes and continued cargo cannibalization by newbuild crude tankers opting for clean cargoes on their maiden voyage.
However, at the end of 2018 and early 2019, the broader tanker markets recovered with freight rates reaching levels last seen towards the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.
Concluding, on January 26, 2018, TORM completed an equity raise through a private placement of USD 100 million. The new equity increased TORM’s ability to pursue attractively priced growth opportunities, including the ongoing newbuilding program, according to the company.