Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 36 - 2005
--- Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis on Wednesday announced a package of 10 measures aimed to improve services in the domestic coastal shipping sector.
The measures also include a partial deregulation of shipping services in the ports of Kymi, Lavrio, Rafina, Elefsina and Piraeus, introducing a free fare programme for the population of remote islands and signing of five-year contracts to service remote islands with new-built vessels.
Kefaloyiannis also announced measures to improve harbour infrastructure facilities in Piraeus, Lavrio, Rafina, Kymi and Irakleio through a three-billion-euro loan signed with the European Investment Bank.
The Greek minister also said coastal shipping companies should have a charter of rights and obligation for passengers and updating a record of mechanical damages on each vessel. He said the ministry planned to introduce permanent positions of medical doctors aboard vessels.
Source: http://www.ana.gr, 10 Sep 2005
Greece Sends Hurricane Aid
The Foreign Ministry of Greece announced that it is sending two cruise ships to help house the homeless in hurricane-devastated New Orleans, eKathimerini reports.
What two ships are being offered was not detailed, but it is not expected to have any impact on Greek cruise ship schedules.
Greece is also providing a search and rescue team and food.
Greece announced that it believes that none of the approximately 5000 Greek-Americans believed to be living in the New Orleans area are among the dead or missing in the aftermath of the storm and subsequent flooding.
Source: http://gogreece.about.com, September 06, 2005
Salvor says P&I rejected helicopter as too pricey
---Greek salvor Tsavliris says its bid to remove the cargo and salvage the stranded 25,000-dwt bulker Kiperousa (built 1984) by helicopter was rejected because the ship's P&I club favoured cheaper options.
The bulker, which has been grounded for three months, is now breaking up. Local reports say the salvor is in a "race against time" to stop the estimated 7,000 remaining logs dispersing into the sea and spilling into busy shipping lanes around Eastern Cape of South Africa near the port of East London.
Tsavliris had been awarded the original contract under a Lloyds Open Form (LOF) to lighter the ship using a heavy-lift helicopter after the Kiperousa grounded on 7 June.
The helicopter option was expensive but Tsavliris claims it was "the quickest, safest and most effective solution".
In a statement it said: "Although we had considered removing the cargo using barges, in view of the prevailing weather conditions in the area, particularly in the winter months, this would be a lengthy and dangerous operation with no realistic prospect of success."
The helicopter proved successful in removing the deck cargo but after the ship's holds flooded, the refloating operation was further delayed.
Meanwhile, the ship's insurer, Axa, issued a new tender for the removal of the cargo in the holds. Tsavliris says it again bid with the helicopter option, as did many other bidders. However, the contract was awarded to SvitzerWijsmuller, which proposed to use the cheaper barge option.
"Tsavliris was merely informed of their decision with the explanation that the chosen contractor was significantly cheaper," the company said.
But it added: "It should be noted that our relationship with the club is long-standing and we sincerely wished the insurers success in completing the operation."
SvitzerWijsmuller is now working on the log removal using a barge but poor weather continues to hamper operations, which are now expected to take 60 days to complete.
Source: www.tradewinds.no, Adam Corbett London, published: 09 September 2005
Ancora buys quartet of Prisco handysizes in $100m deal
---GREEK tanker operator Ancora Investment Trust has struck a $100m deal to acquire four handysize product tankers from Primorsk Shipping Corporation of Russia (Prisco), it has emerged, writes Nigel Lowry in Athens
The four double hull ice class 1C tankers, which can also take chemical cargoes, are the 32,396 dwt sisterships Gemini 1, Capella and Iver Libra, all built in 1994-95, and the 28,280 dwt Auriga, built in 1996.
The vessels, which are priced at about $25m each, are understood to be on short period charters.
Prisco, which claims to be the largest tanker operator in the Russian Far East, has been steadily expanding and renewing its fleet since privatisation in 1992 and has made a quantum leap into larger sizes in the past few years, first with aframaxes.
It has further aframax newbuildings on order from Hyundai Heavy Industries as well as two suezmaxes for delivery in 2007, and last year formed a consortium with MOL and K Line of Japan to order an liquified natural gas carrier to serve the Sakhalin II project.
Recently it has taken delivery of two new 40,000 dwt product tankers from Shina Shipbuilding in Korea and sold the third newbuilding in the series to fellow Greek operator Ionia Management.
The company has also taken delivery of two 5,500 dwt chemical-products carriers from another Korean yard, Nok Bong, with up to four 8,000 dwt tankers on order from the same builder.
Source: www.lloydslist.co.uk, By Nigel Lowry in Athens- Friday September 09 2005
GO Faith Charter update
---Global Oceanic Carriers Limited (AIM: GOC) , the AIM-listed Greek-based drybulk shipping company, today announces that it has secured a short term charter for its vessel GO Faith for a duration of approximately 50 days, at the significant rate of US $ 20,000 per day.
The delivery of the vessel shall take place immediately following its redelivery from the present charter at the port of Diler Ok (Marmara Sea). Thereafter GO Faith will proceed to Odessa to load Iron Ore for China, where the vessel shall be redelivered and where there is continued high demand for raw materials
Source: http://www.gocarriers.com, 05 September 2005
StealthGas Inc. Announces Initial Public Offering
---ATHENS, GREECE -- (Market Wire - Sep 07, 2005) -- StealthGas Inc. today announced that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of 7,700,000 shares of its common stock. All of the shares of common stock offered are to be sold by StealthGas. StealthGas also will grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,155,000 shares for over-allotment purposes. The offering price is expected to be between $14 and $16 per share.
The offering will be led by Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Johnson Rice & Company L.L.C., Hibernia Southcoast Capital and HARRISdirect will act as co-managers. When available, a written copy of the prospectus pertaining to the offering may be obtained from Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., 110 East 59th Street, New York, New York 10022.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or 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 jurisdiction.
About StealthGas Inc.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, StealthGas Inc. is a ship-owning company serving the liquefied petroleum gas sector of the international shipping industry. StealthGas currently has a fleet of nine vessels and has entered into agreements to purchase nine additional vessels.
Quintana in $136.8 mln buy
---Athens-based and NASDAQ-listed Quintana Maritime Limited yesterday announced it has entered into agreements to purchase two Capesize bulk carriers of 165,500 deadweight tons (dwt) each, Iron Beauty and Kirmar, built in 2001 by China Shipbuilding Corp in Taiwan.
Quintana expects to take delivery of these vessels between early October and mid-November 2005. The total purchase price of the vessels is approximately $136.8 million.
The company is an international provider of dry-bulk cargo marine transportation services. It currently owns and operates a fleet of eight Panamax-size vessels with a total carrying capacity of 585,072 dwt and an average age of approximately eight years.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/ 9 Sep 2005
Excel Maritime Carriers to List on the New York Stock Exchange
We believe that this new important initiative is within our strategy of maximizing shareholder value by focusing not only on the quality of our shipping operations but also on the quality of our corporate governance and investor relations.
Aries Maritime to Present at Jefferies Shipping Conference in New York
---ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 09/08/2005 -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (NASDAQ: RAMS), announced today that the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, Mons S. Bolin, will be presenting at the Jefferies Second Annual Shipping Conference in New York on Thursday, September 15, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
The presentation will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed at http://www.jefferies.com/0905shipping. In addition, the accompanying slide presentation will be available in the Investor Relations section of Aries Maritime's website at http://www.ariesmaritime.com/.
About Aries Maritime Transport Limited
Aries Maritime Transport Limited is an international shipping company that owns and operates products tankers and container vessels. The Company's products tanker fleet, which has an average age of 7.8 years and is 100% double-hulled, consists of four MR tankers, two Panamax tankers and one Aframax tanker. The Company also owns a fleet of five container vessels. The Company's container vessels have an average age of 15.6 years and range in capacity from 1,799 to 2,917 TEU. All of the Company's product tankers and container vessels currently operate under long-term time charters.
Company Contacts:, Richard J.H. Coxall, Chief Financial Officer, Aries Maritime Transport Limited, (011) 30 210 9467433
Diana Shipping announces new contracts
---Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Two New Short Term Time Charter Contracts and the Purchase of One Panamax Bulk Carrier
ATHENS, Greece, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX - News), a global shipping transportation company specializing in dry bulk cargoes, today announced that it has arranged for its Panamax dry bulk carriers, Nirefs and Clio, to continue their employment under short term charter contracts with B.H.P. Billiton Marketing AG and Cargill International S.A., respectively, under the following terms: the Nirefs for a period of approximately 12-15 days, at a gross rate of $11,750 per day and the Clio for a period of approximately 3-5 months, at a gross rate of $17,500 per day. Both vessels are Panamax dry bulk carriers, the Nirefs of 75,311 dwt built in Korea in 2001 and the Clio of 73,691 dwt built in China in 2005.
The Company further announced that on September 5, 2005, one of its wholly owned subsidiaries signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the purchase of a Panamax bulk carrier vessel, the m.v. "BOLINA", for $44,250,000. The vessel was delivered in August 2004 from its builder, Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd in Shanghai, and is a sister vessel to three Panamaxes already owned by the Company. The purchase contract also provides for the assumption by the Company's subsidiary of the vessel's present time charter at $25,000 per day gross with Messrs. BUNGE S.A. of Geneva, Switzerland, to July 2007. Diana Shipping expects delivery of the vessel between October 1, 2005 and December 15, 2005. Upon completion of the purchase, the Diana Shipping Inc. fleet will consist of 10 Panamax vessels and one Capesize vessel.
The Company also announced that in the future it will continue to issue press releases relating to all new charters that it enters into for a period of twelve months or longer, but will no longer issue press releases relating to charters of less than twelve months.
About the Company
Diana Shipping Inc. is a global provider of shipping transportation services. The Company specializes in transporting dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes. Diana Shipping Inc. priced its initial public offering of common stock on March 17, 2005.
Source: http://biz.yahoo.com, Tuesday September 6, 8:13 am ET
PPC Evaluates Plans for Cooperation with International Peers
---09 September 2005 - PPC currently evaluates several plans for cooperation with international peers in the field of joint project developments in various business segments (generation, mining and distribution), the company's CEO Mr. Maniatakis said, commenting on PPC's strategic priorities.
He added that PPC considers exercising its 30% option in Public Gas Corporation (DEPA).
Additionally, he stated that PPC continues to examine the best possible options for managing its real estate property whilst scrutinizing its international expansion strategy as well.
As far as the new legal framework is concerned, the CEO mentioned that PPC could be able to acquire 49% of the company that would manage the distribution system.
PPC could be possibly favored from international cooperations, given the exchange of know-how with international peers, though the actual benefits/costs of these potential development is not possible to be determined given the lack of specifics.