Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 49 - 2004

 

Greek port strike set to disrupt cargo shipping

---Workers at Greece's main ports are set to begin a 48-hour strike tomorrow in a protest expected to seriously disrupt pre-Christmas cargo shipments across the country.
The protest at Athens' main port of Piraeus and 11 other ports - to press demands for higher pay and pension rights - is not likely to affect ferry services.
Following the strike, port workers were going to stage a work-to-rule protest over the weekend.
Source: www.scotsman.com, "PA" 9:11am (UK)


Aegean islanders are desperate for regular, frequent ferry service
---Worst coastal shipping crisis in 50 years denudes island routes of ships
Residents of Kalymnos have the worst ferry connection with the rest of Greece. The trip to Piraeus takes 17 hours on those rare occasions when there is a ship. Islanders demonstrating a few days ago outside the Merchant Marine Ministry.
Island life this winter was disrupted when three ships were taken out of commission on account of age, another three were withdrawn for repairs and the seven hydrofoils were replaced by a more commercially productive high-speed ferry. A few days ago, schools and stores closed and black flags were hung out along the wharfs on Chios, Samos, Kalymnos and Icaria. Islanders are protesting because ferries visit many islands no more than once a week. When they do come, the voyage is long, uncomfortable and tiring.
Fare increases
And this is just the beginning. Despite state subsidies - 15 million euros from the Merchant Marine Ministry (YEN) and 36 million euros from the Ministry of the Aegean and Island Policy - coastal shipping is going through the worst crisis of the past 50 years, even though fares are constantly rising. Matters will worsen in 2006, when more than 20 ships are withdrawn and only 17 vessels remain to meet the needs of islanders.
In 2004, two years after the protective cabotage system was lifted, the gaps in Greek coastal shipping have widened dangerously. The 12 years since 1992 (when Greece managed to get a 12-year exemption from the EU from the liberalization of passenger shipping) were not well used. Opportunities were missed and the state did not help set up a ferry network to offer adequate services to the islands and allow companies to develop. New investments were not sufficient; few new vessels were built; companies shrank, debts to banks and the dramatic rise in the price of fuel made many of them cancel orders and sell off their ships to foreign owners.
Kimolos, Folegandros, Sikinos, Thirasia, Anafi, Donousa, Amorgos, Koufonissia, Schinousa and Irakleia in the Cyclades all have problems, as do Samos, Chios and Psara. Worst off are the Kalymnians, who have to travel 17 hours to get to Piraeus. Other islands in the Dodecanese that face problems are Patmos, Leros, Leipsoi, Astypalaia, Nisyros, Kasos, Karpathos, Tilos, Simi and Kastellorizo, served by ships that are in very poor condition.
Dodecanese Prefect Yiannis Mahairidis told Kathimerini, "The region lost at least 100,000 tourists this year, especially from northern Greece, due to the lack of ships."
Insiders blame the law passed by former Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis for the present impasse. The only law PASOK passed during the 12-year exemption period, it came after the tragic shipwreck of the Samina.
"Papoutsis's law turned its back on entrepreneurs and let the sector become bogged down," Coastal Shipowners' Union President Stelios Sarris told Kathimerini. "Now it is at a complete dead end. The Aegean is at risk of being left without ships."
The law in question not only turned its back on entrepreneurs, but on the modernization of port facilities (because it absorbed only 16 percent of potential EU funds). As Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis told Kathimerini: "Papoutsis managed to declare the majority of the lines in the Aegean (about two-thirds) uneconomic, with the result that YEN held competitions for 27 uneconomic lines and the Ministry of the Aegean for 42 such lines. And that was while paying out 41 million euros a year. And instead of benefiting from this, islanders are paying higher fares every year. Papoutsis supposedly liberalized coastal shipping, but in essence he retained state intervention in the market (such as shipping routes and fare structure). The institutional change is a one-way process. We have to act in such a way as to attract entrepreneurs."
YEN is producing a 300-million-euro plan to subsidize uneconomic ferry lines, but Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis has made it clear that the sum will be spent after a special study to make sure the funds are put to effective use. It has already been announced that the government intends to spend 88 million euros on covering uneconomic lines.
Kalymnos port not suitable for large vessels
While problems with coastal shipping affect the entire Aegean, Kalymnos has been the worst hit. The island, with its 18,000 inhabitants, is caught in an impasse. The three ships which used to serve it in the past (belonging to the DANE group) have been withdrawn. The Blue Star, a reliable, modern ship, cannot approach the island's port because it does not fit.
The new harbor has been under construction since 1998, but it is being built according to such outdated specifications that large ships will not fit into it either.
As Kalymnos Mayor Giorgos Roussos told Kathimerini, "Now we have to seek new projects to solve the problem."
Source: By Effi Hadzioannidou - www.eKathimerini.com, 1 Dec 2004


BMA report on 'Prestige' places prime blame on Spain
In light of the casualty and subsequent investigation the report makes a number of observations and recommendations.
Looking at events surrounding the casualty of the aframax tanker the report concludes the large wave which struck the ship while she battled heavy weather revealed there was a source, or sources, of weakness in the structure of the empty No 3 starboard wing tank allowing seawater to rush in causing a heavy starboard list.
The report notes the faults were not readily detectable using present industry survey, inspection and repair practices, and recommends those practices be re-examined to see where improvements can be made in detecting fatigue and residual stresses in areas where large repairs have been carried out.
After assessing the response to the casualty by the ship's manager, Universe Maritime, Mangouras and his crew, salvor Smit and the Spanish search and rescue authorities, the BMA recommended any decision by a coastal state to reduce the master's "overriding authority and responsibility to make decisions with respect to safety and pollution prevention" must not only be made clear to him but also the degree of control left to his discretion be clearly stated. The investigators note that "at no time did any shore authority take command of the ship from the master". Spanish authorities allege Mangouras refused their orders.
Regarding responsibility, the report says no evidence has been given as to which orders were allegedly disobeyed by Mangouras, who gave them or with what authority, or to what extent the captain was still expected to exercise his judgement in running his ship. The report also states Mangouras could not be blamed for the initial damage to the ship and had acted in a seamanlike manner during the severe weather prior to the incident, took the proper steps after the incident to alert shore emergency services, evacuate his crew and decrease the list of the ship.
The report, referring to places of refuge, says provision of a place of refuge "could well have resulted in a much more favourable outcome". The BMA comments that a ship should not be refused entry without careful consideration of alternative options and the consequences of the ship adopting those options. On the issue of criminalisation, without referring directly to it, the BMA says governments should take into consideration the effect on morale and future recruitment into the shipping industry of action against a master involved in an incident.
The BMA describes Mangouras' actions as "exemplary". It notes that when lifted off the bridge with his chief engineer and chief officer, all three had been on continuous duty for 51 hours trying to help the salvage team, without sleep, properly prepared food or a change of clothing. Still Mangouras was required to undergo questioning by the Spanish authorities until 0200 the next day.
Source: ---The long-awaited official report into the sinking of the Prestige off Spain two years ago places the prime blame for the disaster on Spain. The 265-page report published by the Bahamas Maritime Authority, November 29, concludes that the cause of the initial structural failure was the ship being struck by a large wave and that the subsequent actions of Captain Apostolos Mangouras, were "exemplary".


Greek shipowners embrace derivatives as rates reach records
---Dimitris Tsahalis, chartering manager at Thenamaris Ship Management Inc., says his company earned $45,000 this year on the first forward contract he bought to protect against a drop in rates for hauling coal.
Tsahalis says he may buy more of the contracts, so-called Freight Forward Agreements, allowing him to speculate on shipping rates or lock them in to limit losses when they fluctuate. Transport rates have surged to records this year as China imported more oil, coal, iron ore and other commodities.
"At first, we paid little attention to freight derivatives,'' Tsahalis, 56, who helps manage 50 ships, said by telephone from Athens. "Now we believe that there's potential to make much bigger gains, if you play your cards right.''
Greek shipowners like Thenamaris, the country's fifth-largest, are starting to trade the agreements after sitting out a two-year boom that swelled the value of outstanding contracts fivefold to $30 billion, according to London-based shipbroker Freight Investors Services. Only 1 percent of that trading came from Greek shippers, who operate about a fifth of the world's vessels by capacity, Freight Investors said.
"The Greeks have the potential to provide a significant amount of liquidity to the market,'' said Anthony Ellinas, a founding member of the Hellenic Shipping Derivatives Association in Athens. Greek shipowners number about 900, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping estimates.
Barriers to Entry
Derivatives are financial obligations whose value is derived from underlying assets such as debt and equity securities, commodities and currencies.
To help attract shipowners to FFAs, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc this year began trading the contracts on their behalf. Azimuth Marine Management Ltd., a Jersey, U.K.-based hedge fund, plans to do the same for shipowners hindered by "high barriers to entry,'' co-manager James Tweed said from Luton, England.
The main barrier is a lack of credit, Ellinas said. Some Greek operators are registered in tax havens such as Bermuda, in the Caribbean, and the Canary Islands off Spain. Most are closely held, aren't required to make financial statements public and may lack credit histories sought by potential trading partners.
General Maritime Corp., the second-biggest oil-tanker owner with shares trading in the U.S., founded by Peter Georgiopoulos, has debt ratings of BB from Standard & Poor's and B1 from Moody's Investors Service, both below investment grade. Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. and Top Tankers Inc., both based in Athens, aren't rated.
Conservative Business
"Shipping is a conservative business and companies will move into the market with caution,'' said George Saroglou, chief operating officer at Athens-based Tsakos. The company is considering whether to use the contracts, he said.
NOS ASA, the only clearinghouse for shipping derivatives, was forced to sell more shares after Navitrans Maritime Inc., an Athens- based shipowner, defaulted on $8.5 million in payments in June, wiping out half of NOS's cash reserves.
"This hasn't deterred us from considering applications from other Greek operators,'' Hanne B. Johansson, vice president of commodities at NOS, said by phone from Oslo. Navitrans officials didn't return messages.
Royal Bank of Scotland is the biggest arranger of loans to Greek shipping companies, with $4.5 billion last year, according to Athens-based consultant Petrofin SA. Customers of the Edinburgh, Scotland-based bank have grown more interested in freight derivatives because of this year's surge in trading, said a spokesman who declined to be identified.
"Trading these contracts will prove to be profitable for Royal Bank of Scotland, given their close connections with the Greek shipping community,'' Theodore Petropoulos, co-managing director of Petrofin, said by phone.
Managing Risk
Greek shipowners already use derivatives to limit losses on currencies, interest rates and fuel costs, said Kyriakos Attikouris, managing director of Athens-based consultant Freight Metrics. By buying freight derivatives in January, they could have locked in rates to ship 150,000 metric tons of coal from South Africa to Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port, at $28.50 a ton, twice the levels of five months later.
"Greeks are slowly beginning to realise that FFAs are an important tool in managing their risk,'' Attikouris said.
Most FFAs are settled against shipping assessments supplied by the Baltic Exchange in London. A buyer who locked in a freight cost higher than the settlement rate would pay the difference to the seller. The holder of a contract with a lower rate than the assessment would make a profit.
"We are seeing more Greeks joining the Baltic Exchange to get direct access to our freight market information,'' said Jeremy Penn, the exchange's chief executive.
Rolling Dice
Trading the contracts can be risky. Bermuda-based Frontline Ltd., the world's biggest oil-tanker company, said Nov. 15 it lost $17.2 million on derivatives. Jinhui Shipping & Transportation Ltd., a Hong Kong-based shipowner, said in August it lost almost $70 million on FFAs in the second quarter.
"I'm not keen to roll my dice in the current derivatives market,'' said Alexander Papachristidis-Bove, president of Athens- based Seatramp Tankers Inc., which this year lost money on its first FFA. ``I'm unconvinced by the level of liquidity in the market, especially if you want to get out of a bad position.''
Shipping last year earned Greece 8.9 billion euros ($11 billion) in foreign exchange, according to the Bank of Greece. Greek shipowners operate about 3,000 vessels with a total capacity of 149 million deadweight tons, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated in a 2003 report.
Thenamaris's fleet has a capacity of 3.6 million deadweight tons, according to Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review, a publisher based in Athens. Kristen Navigation Inc., at 6 million deadweight tons, is the largest Greek shipowner, followed by Tsakos Group, General Maritime and Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd.
With business booming, most Greek shipowners may be too busy to focus on derivatives for now, Papachristidis-Bove said. "They don't have the staff to monitor the FFA market,'' said Kostis Kertsikoff, chartering manager at Eletson Corp. in Athens, which owns 26 oil tankers.
Source: Dec. 3 (www.bloomberg.com) -- Last Updated: December 2, 2004 19:09 EST


Greeks place faith in Russian oil
---While shipowners are happy to divulge the fact that they are investing in sophisticated ice-class tanker tonnage, they are consistently cagey about what they actually hope to get out of the ships.
Perhaps most illuminating of all is Nikolas Tsakos, chief executive of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN), which has a total of 12 ice-class tankers on order six handysizes and six suezmaxes ranging from 1A to 1C categories.
"It has to do with where we plan to trade them," Tsakos said. Provided that winters are not as severe as two years ago, any time between April to October the 1C-classed ships can do a lot of work, he explains. While 1A is the top category, "the 1B is the workhorse", he said.
The Tsakos handies will trade in the Baltic and possibly in Alaska if the US decides to open up the area to non-US flag ships. The company's suezmaxes look destined for the Sakhalin projects in the Russian Far East. "Basically, it is a bet on the continuous increase of oil coming out of Russia," Tsakos said.
TEN has not gone for aframax ice-class vessels because Tsakos believes that segment is overbuilt.
Meanwhile, topping the ice-class order charts is Barclay Shipping of Greece, with nine 37,000-dwt and seven 47,000-dwt ice-class 1A ships on order. To date, that puts the owner ahead of the pack.
Cyprus-based Interorient Navigation also has 16 ice-class tankers on order, nine of which are 37,000-dwt units of 1B class, five 37,000-dwt of 1A class and two Ice Class 1A aframax tankers. The company already has 11 Ice Class 1B, 37,000-dwt tankers and three Ice Class 1C, 28,000-dwt tankers in its fleet. Fleet manager Andrew Brown says Interorient intends to trade its new ships in the Baltic, White Sea and Canadian ports.
He adds that besides the hull notation, there are other technical differences between the 1A and the 1B vessels. Heating for deck equipment, ballast tanks and cooling for the engine-room plant have been added, while stainless-steel propellers will be fitted on two of the five 1A class ships.
Earlier ice-class tankers had the disadvantage of much higher fuel consumption but Tsakos says that in the last five years there have been great improvements and he believes that today's technology has decreased the margin of difference with conventional ships.
George Procopiou of Dynacom also highlights the increased fuel consumption of ice-class ships as a potential disadvantage out of the ice season. But he says that on the three 71,000-dwt vessels and three suezmaxes that Dynacom has sent for ice strengthening, "smart" electronic engines are being installed to reduce fuel thirst.
Procopiou has plumped for ice class on the last three in each series of vessels on order and reveals that the ice-class suezmaxes are costing $10m more than the conventional vessels of the same size at the same shipyard. He says there are no firm plans about the operation of the ice-class newbuilding but nods at increased Russian oil production on both sides of the continent.
Primorsk Shipping Corp (Prisco) says its victory in the 2003 tender to carry oil for the Sakhalin-1 consortium led it to order three aframaxes that will be able to operate under temperatures as low as-30 C. It has also booked two suezmaxes.
Geneva-based Western Petroleum is another big ice-class player, with six medium-range (MR) tankers and three aframaxes on order, all with 1A class. Serge Gloor of Western Petroleum says the first deliveries from Hyundai Mipo are ahead of schedule and "we are considering sending the first handymax to ice zones during the end of the winter 2004-2005."
Source: www.tradewinds.no, published: 03 December 2004


Restis set to take MISC buy in stride
---Acquisition confirms group's status as a major dry bulk player, writes Nigel Lowry- Friday December 03 2004
Shortly after clinching the $740m deal to buy Malaysian International Shipping Corp's remaining dry bulk fleet of 32 vessels, First Financial Corp's head, Victor Restis, paid tribute to group founder Stamatis Restis, who died unexpectedly earlier this year.
"We are very excited, of course," he said. "It is just a pity that my dear father is missing this."
However, he added, "it is a tremendous boost for our morale and shows that the company is going ahead full steam".
For anyone who might not have noticed hitherto, the acquisition will confirm the Greek group's status as a major player in the dry bulk market.
It entered the sector proper just five years ago with the acquisition of South Africa Marine Corp that gave it an initial fleet of 13 young bulkers. But its presence has been steadily built up since then with newbuildings, including double hulled capers, and the activation of several operating joint ventures.
Mr Restis declined to comment on the price or details of this week's transaction with MISC, although he did say that he felt the group's "proven record of executing complex and large transactions" helped its bid for the Malaysian fleet.
Although some analysts have cautioned over high market prices for dry bulk tonnage - and MISC itself is said to be booking a massive profit on the sale - reportedly intense competition from major players interested in the en bloc deal speaks highly of the attractions.
For First Financial Corp, the holding company for the Restis group's dry cargo interests, the allure of the specific vessels appears to have been various.
While the company is already strong in capesizes and has a presence in the handymax sector, the deal also promises to fill a gap with MISC's nine panamaxes as well as boosting it to a leading player in the handysize segment.
"For different reasons all of the vessels were attractive to us," confirmed group chief financial officer Kostas Koutsoubelis. He also pointed out that the smaller ships had an added interest as being "the least volatile dry bulk sector".
It is understood that only a handful among the 32 ships will be handed over to the Greek group over the next three to four months with period charters still attached, the vast majority being deployed by MISC in the spot market.
It is likely that the group will absorb the new tonnage by employing vessels both through operating affiliates and direct chartering to third parties.
Both First Financial subsidiaries Safbulk and 60%-owned Safore are, for example, operators of panamaxes and handysizes.
The group also has a 50% involvement in Swiss Marine, a Geneva-based operator of both capes and panamaxes that is a major charterer.
A complementary venture for the handymax and handysize market segment is Safmur Logistics, in which Restis has partnered Macsteel subsidiary Metall und Rohstoff Shipping, which manages the company.
The partners contributed an initial three vessels to the fleet but overall Safmur is said to operate more than 20 vessels.
According to Mr Koutsoubelis, the group believes the bulk market will continue strongly for the foreseeable future but its strategy will curb its exposure to 'downside risk' from the huge acquisition.
Source: www.lloydalist.com, 3 Dec 04


Strategic buyers rumored to be converging on Stelmar
---With standstill agreements now released, the battle for control of Stelmar may be heating up again as we head into the holidays. While some think that Stelios has overplayed his hand by stripping the company of key management and rebuffing fair offers, the arbitrage funds continue to have great hopes. Stelmar shares continue to trade above even the $42/share that Stelios said was presented to him by an as yet unnamed shipowner. Rumors have Torm, who was recently blocked from acquiring Norden, as a potential buyer along with OSG.
As readers may recall, OSG was an initial bidder for Stelmar, but there was speculation that their offer, which consisted of a combination of shares and cash, was not looked upon favorably by the Board. Restis-family controlled Golden Energy, which consists of a fleet of 13 recently and to be delivered handymax, panamax and Suezmax tankers, also said publicly that they are looking at buying the fleet in an interview with Bloomberg this week. Our analysis shows the Stelmar fleet worth about $40/share, although that figure is changing as ships come off charter.
Source: Freshly Minted, www.marinemoney.com, 2 Dec 04


Company says it'll fund cleanup
---PHILADELPHIA -- A Tsakos Shipping spokesman said Thursday that regardless of the outcome of the investigation into Friday's oil spill on the Delaware River, the company intends to take full responsibility for the cleanup, which has cost $3.5 million to date.
Coast Guard officials have all but ruled out the possibility of negligence on the part of the pilot and crew of Athos I, the Cyprus-flagged ship that leaked thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River near a docking terminal for the Citgo asphalt refinery located near the border of Paulsboro and West Deptford Township.
The possibility that a missing 14-foot propeller that fell off a Army Corps of Engineers dredger seven months ago in the same vicinity was the culprit still remains. On Tuesday, the Coast Guard placed a restriction on vessels entering the shipping channel with a draft deeper than 34 feet during low tide, while a search continued for the propeller or any other object that could have punched two holes in the bottom two-inch steel plate of the 750-foot, single-hull vessel.
"(Tsakos Shipping) today accepts the responsibility," Michael Hanson, spokesman for the Athens, Greece-based shipping company, said Thursday during a news conference held at the Holiday Inn on Fourth and Arch streets, where a unified command center has been set up to coordinate the investigation and recovery efforts. "They spilled the oil. They will take that responsibility for complete cleanup. After that, we'll let the insurance companies fight it out."
The liability cap on the Athos I is $45.5 million, according to guidelines set by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), which was enacted in response to the Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska in March 1989. In that disaster, about 11 million gallons of oil covered more than 10,000 square miles of ocean and 1,500 miles of shoreline.
Campbell said a federal fund set up by OPA similar to Superfund would need to be tapped if the cap is exceeded.
The Army Corps of Engineers resumed sonar surveying of the river bottom Thursday morning after inclement weather kept vessels docked a day earlier with the Shuman, a 65-foot boat equipped with multi-beam and side-scan sonar equipment. A sonar ship owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expected to arrive Thursday was delayed for a day due to weather, according to Ed Levine, an NOAA scientific support coordinator.
He said the 27-foot vessel is being brought in only to assist the Corps' surveying efforts, which have expanded south to the Commodore Barry Bridge, and not to monitor them.
"(The Corps) isn't hiding anything," he said.
Levine also reported that samples taken from the river bottom near Little Tinnicum showed that patches of oil had reached bottom. He was unable to quantify how much oil could be resting at the bottom, but said that the oil found mixed with sediment on the shoreline, making it heavier than water. Commercial oyster beds along the river, Levine said, were not in any danger.
Water quality tests at a the New Jersey American drinking water intake in Delran showed no traces of oil, Levine said.
As of Thursday, 7,140 gallons of an oil/water mixture had been recovered and 3,906 had evaporated. Levine said he anticipated that between 20 and 25 percent of the oil will be recovered.
It is still not clear how much oil spilled into the river, causing an oil slick that has stretched to 55 miles, affecting 70 miles of shoreline. Earlier this week, Coast Guard officials said the initial estimate of 30,000 gallons was inaccurate and said in the worst-case scenario the spill could be as large as 473,500 gallons, which would be the worst spill in river history.
The unified command center, which is located in a ballroom in the Holiday Inn, was buzzing with activity Thursday afternoon. About 200 federal, state and contract employees have made the Arch Street hotel their home since Tuesday when the center was moved from the Marine Safety Office on Washington Avenue.
Phones were ringing off the hook with field reports and updates and staffers rushed around with clipboards. Nearby conference rooms were occupied and workers were scattered about the lobby talking on cell phones and taking notes on clipboards.
Eighteen months ago, the Coast Guard had a similar setup in the Embassy Suites near the Philadelphia Airport simulating an oil spill.
Commander Tim Deal, chief of preparedness for the Port of Philadelphia, said the unified command center model was put in place after Sept. 11.
"It tightened the importance of having relationships and getting all of the players involved in one room communicating with each other and keeping each other updated of the situation," Deal said. "We all pretty much know everyone here because we've worked together before in simulations and we've established relationships." By Matthew Ralph
mralph@sjnewsco.com
Source: www.nj.com, Friday, December 03, 2004


P. Tsakos named Chairman of Lloyd's Register's Hellenic Committee
---Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, Chairman of the Tsakos Group, has been named as the new Chairman of Lloyd`s Register`s Hellenic Advisory Committee. Capt Tsakos succeeds Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis, President and CEO of Eletson Corporation.
The Hellenic Advisory Committee is a key part of Lloyd`s Register`s network of national and regional committees, all of which provide a forum for maritime operators and administrations to promote two-way knowledge transfer and to enhance the development of quality, safety, environmental and business performance standards.
The Hellenic Committee serves as a forum to bring together leading members of the Greek maritime community both to discuss topical issues impacting the maritime industry and to advance common proposals to Lloyd`s Register`s General Committee and other industry bodies.
The handover of the chairmanship of the Hellenic Advisory Committee took place at the Piraeus Yacht Club, Mikrolimano on Friday, November 12, 2004 and was attended by many prominent shipowners from the Greek community, as well as by the Lloyd`s Register Group`s Executive Chairman, David Moorhouse and Marine Director Alan Gavin.
On behalf of Lloyd`s Register and the Committee, Moorhouse presented Hadjieleftheriadis with an engraved silver dish in recognition of his tremendous contribution and dedication. At the ceremony, Moorhouse announced that Hadjieleftheriadis had agreed to accept the new title of `Honoured Member` of Lloyd`s Register`s General Committee.
Source: www.reporter.gr, 21:36 - 29 November 2004 -


Greek seaman to be released from prison Friday
---Greek seaman Kostas Kastanias, who served 15 years of a life sentence in an Egyptian prison for drug smuggling and was transferred to a Greek prison last week, will be released on Friday.
The First Instance Court accepted Kastanias' request that his sentence be adjusted according to Greek law. If convicted in Greek court, Kastanias would have been sentenced to 10-20 years in prison. Therefore, the court, interpreting the international agreement between Greece and Egypt on the transfer of prisoners, ruled that Kastanias has served the appropriate time in relation to the crime committed.
Kastanias thanked the governments of Egypt and Greece, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and all those who contributed to the success of his long-term efforts, in a statement he made shortly before the trial.
Source: www.ana.gr, Athens 3/12/2004 (ANA)


Germanischer Lloyd Academy Seminar in Athens
---Ballast Water Management is the focus of the GL Academy seminar "Maritime Regulations for Owners" held in Athens today. GL-stability expert Christian Peickert presents the international regulatory framework on ship safety and protection of the marine environment. The 34 participants are technical managers, masters and naval experts from shipping companies, marine consultancies and shipyards.
Compliance with the recently adopted convention on ballast water management is voluntary until 2009, but already mandatory in certain areas today on the basis of national rulings, as is the case i.e. in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil and Chile. Here ships must already be able to present a Ballast Water Management Plan and a Ballast Water Record Book. Attendants will learn about technical solutions for the exchange of ballast water. The seminar also looks ahead at rule developments originating from ballast water convention with special regard to treatment methods and on-board systems.
This seminar is the third GL Academy event in Greece this year. Germanischer Lloyd will expand its seminar program in Greece: For 2005, seminars with topics such as "ISPS Internal Auditor", "Marpol Annex VI" and others are scheduled.
The GL Academy seminars are based on presentations filled with case studies and practical exercises. All participants receive a certificate.
For more information about GL Academy seminars please see the GL website at www.gl-group.com => Maritime Services => GL Academy.
For inquiries about upcoming GL Academy seminars in Greece please contact Agamemnon Apostolidis, Germanischer Lloyd Hellas,Tel. +30 210 4290373, Mob. +30 694 4290373, Fax +30 210 4290355, apo@gl-group.com
Source: Press Release, Hamburg/Athens, November 30, 2004