Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 17 - 2010
Eight (8) crewmembers testified for the government that Mr. Mylonakis orchestrated the magic pipe bypass during his tenure on the vessel. The defense team demonstrated that the crew misled the government about the involvement of Mylonakis in return for grants of immunity. The jury found that the Filipino crewmembers were not credible.
Source: The Maritime Advocate online--Issue434
Strike shuts down Greek ports
---Mon, 26 Apr 2010 21:28:00 GMT. Sailors and longshoremen at Greece's largest ports have launched a 24-hour strike to protest a government decision to make changes to a seafaring law.
The government has announced that it will now allow non-EU flagged cruise ships to navigate the Greek islands as of this summer.
The strike, which was organized by the Pan-Hellenic Union of Merchant Marine Engineers (PNO), paralyzed the port in Piraeus, south of Athens, on Monday.
The new measure exposes sailors and port workers to foreign competition, which the strikers say will lead to layoffs since foreign-flagged ships will not be required to employ Greek crews.
"Lifting the restrictions, as announced, will mean the end of Greek-flagged cruise shipping and the funeral of Greek sailors," Reuters quoted Pan-Hellenic Sailors' Union chief Antonis Dalakogiorgos as saying.
However, the government argues that opening Greece's waters to foreign-flagged ships will increase revenues and jobs in the tourism sector.
Greek tourism officials say the strike is harming the industry as it prevents tourists from reaching the islands.
Dock workers also prevented hundreds of foreign tourists from returning to their ships on Monday.
Posidonia 2010 boosts Local Economy
---Apart from the obvious benefits for the Greek shipping industry in terms of sales and international exposure and networking, Posidonia is a major revenue stream for the tourism industry and related sectors and it is estimated that it contributes a biennial windfall of Euro 50 million to the Greek economy.
With an average stay of four nights per visitor and an average spend of Euro 200 per night the expected 10,000 international business travelers who will attend the event will spend roughly an estimated 15 million going to SME businesses, taxis, retail outlets in Athens and the immediate vicinity excluding revenues by the majority of those who extend their stay for a few days to enjoy short breaks and cruises in the Aegean islands.
Source: Posidonia 2010 - April Newsletter, http://www.posidonia-events.com/online/news.asp
Alafouzos revealed as buyer of six aframaxes
---Nigel Lowry - Friday 30 April 2010
SHIPPING and media owner Aristides Alafouzos has emerged behind a total of six aframax newbuilding orders placed recently with Samsung Heavy Industries, writes Nigel Lowry in Athens .
Argonaftis, which told the investment community that it planned to fund 60% of the cost of its two tankers with bank finance and the balance with equity, said in total it was paying $108.9m for the two ships.
A price of about $54.5m apiece can be reliably taken as the cost of the Kyklades quartet. The group also has options for two further aframaxes.
Samsung announced a week ago that it had won orders from Greek owners for nine aframaxes with three contractual options, which now leaves three ships, plus one option, that have not yet been traced to an owner.
All the 115,000 dwt tankers are scheduled for delivery between the second half of 2011 and mid-2012.
Argonaftis, which was once tipped as likely to be the first oceangoing shipping company with its own listing on the Athens stock market, sold three of its four tankers in 2005, keeping the 106,000 dwt Okeanis .
Kyklades, which also manages the vessel for Argonaftis, has three suezmax tankers left in its fleet.
All three are said to be on time charter and executives say the group generally has a preference for period employment.
It is understood that none of the newbuildings have yet been chartered.
The group had apparently been patient in waiting for prices to settle in order to reinvest again after downsizing its fleet about five years ago.
Logothetis' Libra Group adds gas to expanding fleet
---The Logothetis family-controlled Libra Group's UK-based Lomar Shipping has purchased four LPG carriers from German KG house, Munchmeyer Petersen Steamship (MPC). The deal lifts the group's fleet to 36 units, built on the UK-based Allocean Ltd fleet of 26 ships purchased for $325m at the end of last year.
The group has confirmed it has bought the 3,200cumtr LPG carriers Auteuil, built 1995, and the 1990-built Cheltenham, Longchamp and Malvern, enbloc for between $16m and $20m. MPC is taking a heavy loss on the deal as the four were bought in 2006 for $52m enbloc and they have been on tc to Monaco-based MC Shipping.
Libra had three LPG carriers and saw the latest purchase as an "attractive deal" but is not willing to disclose whether the ships came with a charter attached. Market analysts say rates are currently around $7,000 a day for this type of ship.
Last year, Lomar bought out UK-based Allocean and its fleet of 26 ships ending weeks of speculation in both London and Greece. The acquisition came after a long period of selling ships by the Logothetis family as a fleet of over 60 had been whittled down to just a handful of units.
The fleet acquired comprised bulk carriers, container ships, LPG tankers, platform supply vessels (PSV), anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTS), a chemical tanker and a products tanker. It took the Logothetis operation to 32 owned and managed vessels including three newbuildings currently on order.
In a statement confirming the deal, Adamantios Tomazos, coo of the Libra Group said the group sold ships between 2004 and 2006 but has been maintaining a small fleet in recent years, while building the Libra Group into a diversified global conglomerate. "Meanwhile, we have been waiting patiently for a shipping acquisition opportunity such as this," said Tomazos last December.
-- Filed: 2010-04-30
Samonas Brothers contract kamsarmaxes at STX
---Brothers John and Leon Samonas have placed an order for two kamsarmax bulkers at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding.
The 81,000-dwt bulkers are slated for delivery in May and June 2012 and are understood to be costing close to $37m each.
At the time, it was said that STX was marketing the specific design for around $54m each but TradeWinds understands the pair was booked at some $50.5m.
The first is due for delivery in October and already has a three-year fixture, although no charter details are available. It is understood that Samonas Brothers are also in the process of trying to fix the second ship, which is slated to be handed over in November.
STX recently announced that it had secured orders from three different owners worth a combined $250m. One contract was said to be from a Greek company.
Piraeus-based Silver Lake Shipping has also been linked to an order at STX for one kamsarmax but TradeWinds understands that the deal has yet to be finalised.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 21:59 GMT, 29 Apr 10 | updated: 12:53 GMT, 29 Apr 10
NewLead bounces back
---(Apr 30 2010). NewLead Holdings has completed the first phase of its turnaround with the sale of three additional non-core vessels and an agreement to purchase one newbuilding drybulk carrier.
Since its recapitalisation in October 2009, NewLead management claimed that it had focused on a new strategy, including the disposal of inefficient vessels, exit from the container industry, acquisition of vessels with quality timecharters attached and creation of a newbuilding programme.
As a result, NewLead's fleet has expanded by over 50%. In addition, management focused on improving profitability by bringing in-house commercial and technical expertise.
Following the latest transactions, the company will have a diverse fleet of 17 vessels - seven product tankers and 10 drybulk carriers (including newbuildings) with an average age of 9.4 years.
The sale of the latter two vessels is expected to be concluded during the second quarter of 2010, the company said.
NewLead said that the four vessels were operating at sub-par rates on the spot market for an extended period.
By divesting itself of these inefficient vessels, the company said that its EBITDA was expected to be favourably impacted by about $6.6 mill per year.
NewLead said that it planned to use the proceeds from the sales to renew the fleet, or reduce its outstanding debt.
Public players seize control of S&P
---Traded bidders leave private owners in the dust, reports Greg Miller
Evangelos Marinakis raised eyebrows when he bought VLCC newbuildings at $96.5M for his Crude Carriers IPO. Competing private bids for the same ships were reportedly in the $80M range.
The rise of public bids
While standard ship-mortgage financing remains in short supply for private players, public firms have a plethora of weapons in their capital-raising arsenal: IPOs, follow-on offerings, junk bonds and convertibles among them.
The looming danger of OPM-driven deals is to the orderbook. Despite intense concerns about capacity overhang, New York-listed companies tapping public investors and Chinese interests tapping government cash have shown no reluctance to pile on orders in 1Q10.
Public asset buys 2010:
Acquisitions announced over the past three months by US-listed shipping firms
[ Source: company releases and broker reports; excludes intra-company drop-down transactions ]
Source: Fairplay - Markets 29 Apr 2010
Transas secures prestigious order for ECDIS supply for Cardiff Marine Inc.
Along with ECDIS, the contract includes the supply of the Transas Admiralty Data Service (TADS), which will provide Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs), Admiralty Digital Publications (ADP) and the Transas TX-97 world chart folio as a basic set-up for each installed unit.
Vessels will shift to paperless navigation rapidly after the systems have been commissioned with Transas assistance in transition to paperless sailing.
Navigators from the vessels will be trained, under Transas supervision, at designated training centers equipped with Transas simulators, including Cosmos Training Centre and EIM Training Centre the in Piraeus. In addition, Transas Hellas, the company's Greek arm, will install a medium scale simulation complex in its premises consisting of NTPRO 5000 and ECDIS 4000 MFD simulators.
The first systems have already been installed at a Shanghai shipyard, and the first vessel has been sailing paperless since the end of March.
P&P Marine Consultants supervises successful launch of newbuilding vessel of Avin International
---Thursday, 29 April 2010. In the morning of the 28th of April 2010 in the picturesque WuanWu of Fuan district of Fujian Province, and while high tide was receding, the launching of M/T Gerani took place. M/T Gerani is one of the 8 vessels that P&P Marine Consultants Inc. is constructing and supervising on behalf of AVIN International S.A. in various shipyards in China and the 5th to be launched. The vessel has Bureau Veritas notation and will raise the Greek flag.
The launching was successful and the traditional Chinese way (use of air bags) was used. P&P Marine Consultants supervised the process to its completion. The supervision team is also preparing for the Sea Trials of the sister ship M/T Preveli, built at the same shipyard, which are scheduled for the beginning of July.
P&P Marine Consultants is the supervision firm in China for AVIN International S.A. since 2008 and has already delivered 2 vessels.
P&P Marine Consultants, http://www.pnpmarine.com/projects.html
Seamen block Piraeus largest port
---Tuesday, 27 April 2010 04:38. Striking seamen blocked Piraeus largest port on Monday as government's officials raced against the clock for international aid to arrive in time to avert the eurozone's first debt default in May. Passenger ferries remain moored at the Pireaus port as seamen called a 24-hour strike to protest plans to lift cabotage rules to allow non EU-flagged vessels to moor at Greek ports and open up the market to thousands of tourists. The seamen fear that opening up port for foreign vessels would pose a threat to jobs.
The striking seamen eventually allowed the Panama-flagged cruise ship Zenith to dock at the country's main port after circling the nearby waters for nearly two hours.
The protesters said they would allow tourists to disembark, but threatened that they would not allow the ship to sail for its scheduled destination to Croatia later in the evening.
The Socialist government's tough economic plans have already generated public opposition in the form of strikes and massive street protests across the country
A poll released on Saturday showed that more than two-thirds of Greeks believe that Papandreou's government was either too slow to react to the crisis or handled the economy unwisely as the fiscal crisis deepened.
Saddled with huge debt and a swollen deficit, Athens bowed to intense pressure from financial markets last week and formally requested the 45-billion-euro (60-billion-dollar) EU-IMF aid plan to be activated, triggering what would be the first bail-out of the euro zone.
Prime Minister George Papandreou declared in a televised address that his country's economy was a "sinking ship."
European and IMF officials have made clear that their support will require Greece to put its fiscal house in order. Athens has agreed to begin an austerity programme that cuts civil servants' pay, freezes pensions and raises taxes.
Greece is racing against the clock for the aid to arrive in time to avert the eurozone's first sovereign debt default.
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said he was confident Athens would secure help by May 19 to finance its crippling public debt.
Papaconstantinou has played down concerns that Germany, facing a key regional election in early May, might block the rescue deal since it is largely unpopular in Europe's biggest economy.
He said that if there are delays in getting parliamentary approval in some European countries, the IMF aid could be matched with bridge loans from European countries that already cleared the deal.