The global economic downturn has negatively affected the development of greenfield shipyards with one-third of the proposed sites dropped, according to statistics.

The number dropped from 140 to 98 by November 2009, according to Clarkson Research.

Only 14% of proposed sites being developed at the time of the Lehman Bank debacle no longer exist, the report said.

The drop reveals that some 40%, or 56, yards have graduated to ‘newly-established’ status by making their first deliveries.

The statistics show that the volume of tonnage at newly established yards has risen from 12% some 14 months ago to 19%.

At the same time, 34 new greenfield sites have been created, lifting their number back up to 98.

According to Clarkson, the volume of newbuilds at greenfield sites is down from about 83.5 million dwt in August 2008 to 31.5 million dwt as of 1 November 2009.