Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 29 - 2011

 

Heated scenes on Piraeus waterfront as ships divert

---Thousands of cruise passengers hoping to see the sights of Greece have been disappointed this week as striking taxi drivers blocked access to the port of Piraeus, as well as Athens International Airport and the city centre, and many popular tourist attractions around the country. Strikers have voted to extend the two-day lightning strike called on Monday into today.
On Monday some 16,000 cruise passengers and many thousands of ferry passengers were trapped in Piraeus when 2,500 cabbies assembled at the gates of the port in protest of the liberalisation of their profession as demanded by the country's international creditors, the EU and IMF.
Similar protest action took place in the key Cretan port of Iraklion, the Ionian port of Patras, Kyllini and Katakolon in the Peloponnese, all popular cruise ship calls.
On Monday, traditionally the busiest day for cruise calls in Piraeus, MSC Cruises' MSC Armonia, with 2,300 passengers, was diverted from Piraeus to Nafplio (Epidaurus), while Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas, with 1,997 passengers, and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice, with 3,136 passengers, called at Chania in Crete. The Louis group's Louis Majesty and Cristal called in Piraeus, but suffered long delays. Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess and RCL's Voyager of the Seas, with a combined 7,000 passengers, dropped Piraeus altogether.
The taxi drivers called the sudden two-day strike for Monday and Tuesday, only to vote to extend it indefinitely today with the warning they would continue with 48-hour rolling strikes unless the government revokes its decision to lift all restrictions on the number of taxi licenses issued.
Condemning the action, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, said: 'The way in which this protest is being carried out is very bad, at a critical time for tourism, on which every Greek family depends, including those of taxi drivers.' The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises said in a statement: 'In the middle of the most critical tourism period of the past few years, taxi drivers have dealt yet another serious blow to the country's image.'
The blockade by cabbies at the airport has seen hundreds of arrivals having to lug their baggage up to four kilometres to get out of the facility.
Since the strike, it's not only tempers that have risen in Greece. Temperatures have constantly topped 40 degrees C.
Source: http://www.seatrade-insider.com/News/News-Headlines/Heated-scenes-on-Piraeus-waterfront-as-ships-divert.html


No-one bids for Greek container facility
---GREECE has reportedly failed to attract bids for its first container storage and distribution facility.
Thriassio might now be split up and offered in sections to attract greater interest, Ta Nea reported.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 20 Jul 2011


Piraeus achieves select environmental standard
---The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) is one of the nine European ports certified by Lloyd's with the European Standard for Environmental Management (PERS). The European Ship Ports Organisation (ESPO) has included the Piraeus among the Eco-ports of Europe, after examining the relevant documentation certified by an independent certification body, Lloyd's Register. The certificate was issued on July 13.
Certification PERS covers all port operations and services offered by the PPA in the commercial port, car-terminal and passenger shipping sectors, including cruising. PERS validates the environmental management applied by the PPA is of a high environmental quality.
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Mitropoulos speaks out on piracy
---(July 22 2011)
At a press conference this week, IMO secretary general Efthimios Mitropoulos stressed that seafarers should not be armed and the carriage of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) remains a matter for the shipowner to request and the flag state to decide.
The request should only come following a thorough risk assessment. In addition, flag states should have a policy in place on whether, or not the use of PCASP will be authorised and, if so, under what conditions.
While providing guidance as to under which conditions PCASP can be contracted to prevent ships falling in the hands of pirates, Mitropoulos was at pains to point out that the IMO neither endorses, nor institutionalises the practice, or the carriage of firearms, on board vessels.
The carrying of firearms may pose an even greater danger if the ship is carrying flammable cargo, or similar types of dangerous goods.
Also by carrying arms on board, a vessel may encourage attackers to carry firearms or even more dangerous weapons, thereby escalating an already dangerous situation. Any firearm on board may itself become an attractive target for an attacker.
It should also be borne in mind that shooting at suspected pirates may impose a legal risk for the master, shipowner or company, such as collateral damages.
In some jurisdictions, killing a national may have unforeseen consequences even for a person who believes he or she has acted in self defence. Also the differing customs or security requirements for the carriage and importation of firearms should be considered, as taking a small handgun into the territory of some countries may be considered an offence.
He called for a stronger political will and asked for more naval vessels and military aircraft to be made available, while acknowledging the forces were now stretched, due to the North African political problems, in particular Libya.
Later this year, the IMO is to start co-operating with the Asian anti-piracy organisation ReCAAP, which will give it a greater overall picture of the problem.
As part of the IMO backed Djibouti Code of Conduct initiative, the proposed Regional Training Centre, Djibouti (DRTC) has moved a step closer. The design and building contracts have been negotiated and agreed by the Government of Djibouti.
IMO has agreed to fund the building up to $2.5 mill from the Djibouti Code Trust Fund. A MOU was signed on 30th May 2011 between IMO and Djibouti and transfer of start-up funding is imminent from IMO. Building work is scheduled to commence on 5th September 2011.
Elsewhere, work on fusing the coastal radars and AIS in Tanzania into the Dar es Salaam MRCC is in progress. A needs analysis for similar work in Kenya is funded and about to commence. GMDSS and NAVTEX systems are being provided to the Seychelles using funds donated by Japan.
Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com


Aegean Marine Petroleum launches physical supply ops in Panama
---July 21, 2011. Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW) today announced that it has launched physical supply operations in Panama. Including Panama, the company now serves 19 markets covering more than 50 ports worldwide, as compared to five service centers at the time of Aegean's IPO in December 2006.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea. The company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers, and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines. Currently, Aegean has a global presence in 19 markets, including Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, West Africa, Gibraltar, U.K., Northern Europe, Piraeus, Patras, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Morocco, the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA) region, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Cape Verde and now Panama.
Source: http://www.marinelog.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1114:2011jul00215&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=107


Star Bulk intends to offer and sell 16,500,000 common shares
---Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (Nasdaq: SBLK) today announced that it intends to offer and sell 16,500,000 common shares in an underwritten public offering. All of the shares in the offering are to be sold by Star Bulk. As part of the offering, the Company has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional 2,475,000 common shares to cover over-allotments, if any. The Company expects to use the net offering proceeds to fund a portion of the aggregate purchase price for two secondhand drybulk carriers it has contracted to acquire by August 31, 2011 and for general corporate purposes.
The common shares trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SBLK".
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for this offering and ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC and FBR Capital Markets & Co. are acting as co-managers for this offering.
This offering is being made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus. A prospectus supplement related to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC's website located at www.sec.gov. When available, copies of the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to this offering may be obtained from Deutsche Bank Securities, Attention: Prospectus Department, 100 Plaza One, Jersey City, NJ 07311 (telephone: 1-800-503-4611) and RBC Capital Markets, Attn: Equity Syndicate, Three World Financial Center , 200 Vesey Street, 8th Floor , New York, New York 10281 (telephone: 1-877-822-4089).
A shelf registration statement relating to the shares was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and is effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities, in any state or other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or other jurisdiction.
Source: http://www.nafsgreen.gr/magazine/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1600&Itemid=482


Into these Volatile Markets Goes Star Bulk
Moreover, it showed strong support for the deal.
Proceeds of the offering will be used to partially finance the acquisition of two Capesize bulk carriers from companies affiliated with Mr. Pappas. The two vessels are the Megalodon, built in 1994 and the Big Fish built in 1996.
The purchase prices for the two vessels were $23.7 million and 27.8 million respectively inclusive of the time charters to a multi-national mining group for an average remaining period of 3.7 years following delivery. With an average time charter rate of $25,000/day, the vessels are expected to contribute $64.9 million of contracted revenue over the fixed period.
The net proceeds of the offering are expected to fund approximately $20.5 million of the purchase price, including the replenishment of the $5.15 million of cash on hand that was used to pay the deposit on the vessels, with the balance for general corporate purposes. More details are provided in the Guts of the Deal below.
Guts Of the Deal
Issuer Star Bulk Carriers Corporation
Number of Shares 16,700,000
% of Total O/S Pre-Offering 26.23%
Green Shoe 2,505,000
Offering Price $1.80
Deal Size $30,060,000
With Over-Allotment $34,569,000
Primary Shares All
Dividend Policy Quarterly from available cash after reserves
Lock-up 90 days
Use of Proceeds Partially finance the purchase price of the Acquisition Vessels and for general
corporate purposes.
Joint Bookrunning Managers Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets
Co-Managers ABN AMRO, Cantor Fitzgerald, Dahlman Rose, FBR
Issuer's Counsel Seward & Kissel LLP
Underwriter's Counsel Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Accountants Deloitte, Hadjipavlou, Sofianos & Cambanis S.A.
Industry Information Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.
Incorporation Marshall Islands
Stock Exchange Nasdaq
Ticker SBLK
The balance of the purchase price, about $31 million, will be drawn by the owning companies under a new senior secured credit facility committed to by ABN AMRO. Secured by the new vessels and guaranteed by Star Bulk, the new facility is repayable in 18 consecutive quarterly installments to a balloon payment of $8.9 million.
The first fourteen installments are in the amount of $1.4 million, with the last four installments declining to $625 thousand. Interest will be charged at LIBOR + 2.90%.
In addition to the customary covenants, the new facility will include the following financial covenants:
Despite a rising market, the shares closed down Tuesday at $1.64 on volume of 14.5 million shares. The volume was higher than expected, which put pressure on the shares. Nonetheless, it was a successful deal for the company and should, in the near term, work out for investors.
Joint bookrunning managers for this offering were Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets with ABN AMRO, Cantor Fitzgerald, Dahlman Rose and FBR serving as co-managers.
Source: www.marinemoney.com - Marine Money Freshly Minted, Thursday, July 21, 2011 - Page 1


Economou v Cosco
Shipowner George Economou is chasing Cosco Qingdao with the arrest of one capesize and writs against another three bulkers after a lucrative charter deal turned sour.
The Greek owner has applied a zero-tolerance policy over non-payment of hire on three of his privately owned capesizes and three panamaxes owned by US-listed DryShips after the Chinese owner and charterer stopped making payments on contracts clinched at the height of the dry-bulk boom.
Cosco Qingdao says it wants to renegotiate the charters to meet the taxation demands it is facing.
The sums involved are huge as some of the vessels were earning as much as $87,000 per day. The total outstanding amount owed so far to Economou is calculated at well over $11m, with the clock running.
The Madeira was fixed to Cosco Qingdao in early September 2008 for 59 to 61 months at $87,000 per day. The charter contract provides a total income of more than $152m for the Greek owner.
It is noteworthy that the ship did not commence work until mid-October 2008, by which time the financial markets had collapsed. Cosco did not withdraw from the agreement even though spot-charter rates later fell to under $5,000 per day in some cases for capesizes.
The other three ships are owned by the listed company. They are the 73,200-dwt bulker Positano (built 2000), fixed for 58.5 to 61.5 months at $42,500 per day, and sisterships 73,600-dwt bulker Padre and Avoca (both built 2004), fixed for 47 to 50 months at $56,500 per day.
According to the affidavit, Cos-co Qingdao had requested a renegotiation of the charter terms, including a reduction in the hire rate, some months ago, citing tax demands by Chinese authorities.
Economou was unavailable for comment but sources close to the case say the group has bulkers chartered to other subsidiaries of the Cosco group and these contracts are performing without a glitch.
Last year, Cosco created a stir when it announced a series of joint-venture deals that included funding and newbuilding projects with a select few Greek owners, including Economou.
Cosco Qingdao was unavailable for comment.
By Yiota Gousas, Jonathan Boonzaier and Neil Connor Athens, Singapore and Shanghai
Published: 22:01 GMT, 21 Jul 11 | updated: 20:03 GMT, 20 Jul 11
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited Declares Quarterly Dividend $0.15 per Share
--- ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - 07/19/11) - The Board of Directors of Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) (NYSE:TNP - News) (or the "Company") has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share of common stock outstanding. The record date is August 4, the payment date is August 10 and the shares will trade ex-dividend on August 2.
D. John Stavropoulos stated, "We are pleased to continue our consistent payment of regular dividends commenced in October 2002. We are very proud of this record which will have resulted in total cash dividend payments of $8.925 per share (adjusted for 2-for-1 split in November 2007). This payout compares favorably with the IPO price in March 2002 of $7.50 per share (also split adjusted)."
Mr. Stavropoulos added, "We intend to continue the pursuit of a level of profitability which can sustain dividends while also fueling growth of the enterprise, thereby delivering shareholder value."
In accordance with our dividend policy, payments of dividends are subject to prudent financial policy and the discretion of the Board of Directors after due consideration of available cash, anticipated cash needs, loan agreement restrictions, future prospects for earnings and cash flow as well as other relevant factors.
ABOUT TSAKOS ENERGY NAVIGATION
To date, TEN's pro forma fleet consists of 50 double-hull vessels of 5.4 million dwt that includes one suezmax tanker currently under construction to be delivered in July 2011 and two suezmax DP2 shuttle tankers for expected delivery in 2012 totaling 472,000 dwt. TEN's balanced fleet profile is reflected in 23 crude tankers ranging from VLCCs to aframaxes and 26 product carriers ranging from aframaxes to handysize and one LNG carrier.
TEN's employment profile (operating fleet):
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Type of Employment Vessels
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Period Employment - Fixed, fixed w/profit share & min max 28
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CoA - market related 1
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Pool - market related 6
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Spot - market related 12
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TEN's current newbuilding program:
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Suezmax DWT Hull Type /Design Expected Delivery
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1. S2035 158,000 DH July 2011
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2. Suezmax DP2 157,000 DH Q4 2012
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3. Suezmax DP2 157,000 DH Q1 2013
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DH: Double Hull
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted by such forward-looking statements. TEN undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Source: Press Release Source: Tsakos Energy Navigation On Tuesday July 19, 2011, 8:00 am EDT