Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 23 - 2006

 

Minister of mercantile marine opens posidonia 2006

Cabinet members, ministers from countries with long maritime tradition, MPs, senior officials of the Greek and international shipping community and local authority representatives attended the ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony was also addressed by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr. Efthymios Mitropoulos, the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners Mr. Nikos Efthymiou, the Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Christos Agrapides and the Chairman of Posidonia Exhibitions, Mr. Themistocles Vokos.
The Minister toured the exhibition which this year spans an area of 26,500 square metres, a new Posidonia record as the exhibition has increased its size by 15% compared to the 2004 edition.
Posidonia 2006 is sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine, the Greek Ministry of the Aegean, the Municipality of Piraeus, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, the Union of Shipowners of Mediterranean Cargo Vessels, the Union of Coastal Passenger Ship Owners and the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies.
Source: PRESS RELEASE, Posidonia Press Office, 5th June, 2006


Posidonia 2006
1. Will dry bulk prices relax a little or will the avalanche of liquidity and pent up interest in modern vessels keep prices high.
2. When the buying spree begins who will be the sellers. According to some knowledgeable shipping and finance gurus, there are multi billions of equity and credit facilities waiting for the right opportunity. That makes for an awful lot of ships changing hands.
3. What will be the next Metrostar / Quintana type transaction. It is only a matter of time but who will be the predator and who the prey.
Source: Freshly Minted, www.marinemoney.com, 8 June 2006


Greek quality revolution seen as hand-in-hand with consolidation
---But smaller fleets still predominate in the Greek shipping community, new Petrofin study finds. Nigel Lowry reports- Friday June 09 2006
Reductions in the number of companies that make up the Greek shipowning world have been arrested over the last year although this is unlikely to make much difference to an overall trend towards consolidation, according to a new study of Greek shipping by Athens based consultancy Petrofin Research.
The number of Greek owned and Greek based shipping companies rose by three to 693 during the period under review.
Comparatively modest fleets still dominate, though, with 41% of companies controlling no more than two ships, and a whopping 60% having fleets of up to four vessels. A further 20% of owners have fleets of five to eight vessels, the study found.
By contrast, only 4% of companies operate 25 or more vessels and a further 4% operate 16-24 vessels.
The 28 companies operating fleets of 25 vessels or more are not quite as many as the 31 such companies in 2004.
Traditionally, authors of the annual study have claimed their research gives a more accurate snapshot of the industry than some by excluding newbuildings with distant delivery dates.
The study points out that newbuilding orders may be cancelled or resold, risking distortion of the overall picture.
Nonetheless, the survey points to an impressive fall in the average age of Greek shipping.
Petrofin also predicted that the overall number of vessels under Greek control would continue to hover around the 4,000 vessel mark but with larger aggregate capacity due the bigger average size of ships.
Source: www.lloydslist.com


LNG carrier demand fuels classification societies competition
Natural gas is projected to be the fastest growing component of world marketed energy consumption estimated to increase by 23% over the next 10 years and 44% over the next 20.
Qatar Gas is also a major owner of mainstream LNG carriers with a current order book of 80 vessels, testimony to the growing potential of the sector. In the US alone, LNG imports are expected to grow from current 3% of gas consumption to 15% by 2015 and jump to 21% by 2025.
Germanischer Lloyd is less focusing on oil and gas tankers, but they are leaders in container ship classification with nearly half of the global market and with a 20% market share in multi-purpose vessels classification. According to Dr Hermann Klein, Member of the Executive Board, global standardization of classification societies means that competition amongst them now focuses on service quality, speed of deliverables and attention to detail.
Source: Press Release, 6th June, 2006


Samsung Heavy Gets $1.5 Billion Order for 14 Ships (Update3)
---June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world's third-largest shipbuilder, said it received orders for 14 container ships worth $1.5 billion from three companies including Panama's Naviera Daniela SA and Greece's Danaos Shipping Co.
Samsung Heavy will deliver the ships by November 2009, the Seoul-based company said in a regulatory filing to the Korea stock exchange today. The third company, based in Germany, asked not to be identified, Samsung Heavy spokesman Yoon Jong Duk said by phone in Seoul.
Samsung Heavy, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., and other shipyards in South Korea, home to the world's largest, are set to deliver a record number of new vessels this year, after shipping lines increased orders to benefit from booming global trade and preempt tougher safety regulations.
The orders today raise Samsung Heavy's total for the year to date to $6.9 billion, 90 percent of its 2006 target, Yoon said. The company's shares fell 1.4 percent to 21,150 won at the 3:00 p.m. close of trading in Seoul. They are up 19 percent this year compared with an 8.2 percent drop in the benchmark Kospi Index.
South Korean shipbuilders' order backlog stood at a record 3.79 million compensated gross tons, or 1,031 vessels, valued at $77.2 billion at the end of March, according to the country's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. That's enough to keep them busy until early 2009.
Deliveries
The country's shipyards delivered 2.84 million compensated gross tons in the three months to March 31, 21 percent more than a year earlier. The companies are expected to deliver about 2 million compensated gross tons every quarter this year.
Samsung Heavy posted an operating profit, or sales minus expenses and the cost of goods sold, of 15.7 billion won in the first quarter compared with an operating loss of 36.2 billion won a year earlier. Hyundai Heavy, based in Ulsan, posted a 167.9 billion won operating profit in the same period. It made an operating loss of 74.2 billion won in the year-earlier period.
Seoul-based Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., the world's second-largest shipbuilder, narrowed its operating loss in the quarter to 141.5 billion won from 151.6 billion won a year earlier.
The three South Korean shipyards last week announced orders for 10 liquefied natural gas carriers from Qatar Gas Transport Co. totaling 2.4 trillion won.
Last Updated: June 7, 2006 02:59 EDT
Source: www.bloomberg.com


European Shipbuilders Eye Cruise Sector
---The future of Europe's shipbuilding industry lies in the cruise and ferry sector, as the Far East has established a stronghold in the standard vessel market, European shipbuilders said Wednesday.
China and Korea have an edge over Europe in the conventional vessel market, said Sinnika Railo, communications manager for the Finnish operations of Aker Yards.
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"The Asians are extremely good in what they do, and they do it very cost effectively," Railo said during the Posidonia 2006 international shipping exhibition, which opened Monday in Athens.
The five-day exhibition, held ever two years in Athens, is the world's biggest shipping trade event.
"However, in the cruise ship sector, Asia cannot compete with Finland and the rest of the main European builders ... they may catch up in the future, but we invest heavily in innovation and research and technology to stay on top," she said.
Aker Yards is the name behind the world's two biggest cruise ships -- the "Queen Mary II" and "Freedom Of The Seas." It currently is building "Liberty Of The Seas," which is to be even larger.
"The future of the European shipbuilding industry exists in the specialized, high technology vessels, as demand continues to grow," Railo said.
Giorgio Arena, executive vice president of Italian Fincantieri's merchant ship unit, agreed Europe had lost its ability to compete with Asia in the standard vessel segment, but was the undisputed leader for cruise ships and ferries.
"Europe's flexible approach, high technological know-how and innovative design and vast network of reliable suppliers and subcontractors mean that (Europe) will maintain (its) leadership in this market segment for a very long time," he said.
Arena said Greece also would help to fuel demand in the ferry sector, as Greek ferry operators needed to upgrade their fleet.
Europe is unable to compete with Asia at a cost-structure level in the repair and conversion segment of the industry, said Jan van Leuven, area manager of Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam.
He suggested Europe could compete, however, on a quality basis, and also had an advantage because Asia has little or no excess capacity to undertake major projects on a short notice basis.
"Western European repair and conversion specialists are more flexible, which is great, especially as we are in the middle of a booming industry in the offshore vessel sector," van Leuven said.
Paul Tugwell is a correspondent of Dow Jones Newswires.
Source: http://news.moneycentral.msn.com, June 07, 2006 12:33 PM ET


Navios set to expand South American operations
---Angeliki Frangou-led Navios Maritime plans to expand its operations in South America over the next 12 months to capitalise on agricultural and mineral exports. The expansion will see the creation of a logistics business to complement its bulk port in Nueva Palmira, which is also to be expanded.
When reporting its results for the first quarter of 2006, Navios announced that its plans for South America will, in the initial stage, focus on the Brazilian and Uruguayan stretches of the Paraguay and Parana Rivers. Navios also intends to expand capacity and storage at the Nueva Palmira port.
The Nasdaq-listed Navios reports a slip in first-quarter 2006 revenues and profits on decreased freight rates and fleet capacity. Revenues for the three months fell 20% from $61.37m to $49.17m as charters expired on hired tonnage last year and in the quarter. Net profit was down from $12.96m a year ago to $4.98m, as higher fleet depreciation, amortisation costs and interest expenses rose.
However, replacing of chartered-in tonnage with owned ships enabled Navios to reduce t/c and voyage expenses from $37.5m in the 2005 period to $20.8m in the 2006 quarter. Average daily TCE rates slipped from $22,153 in 2005 to $17,835 in 2006, in line with a general dip in the freight market. Navios gained $1.7m on FFAs whereas there was a loss of $4.6m in 2005.
Meanwhile, the Nueva Palmira facility posted $1m in revenues in the first quarter down $300,000 on the 2005 period as throughput decreased from 334,000 to 325,000 tonnes.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 9 June 2005


Returns registered for Cayman Islands
---The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry (CISR) announced yesterday the relaunch of its operations in Greece with a revamped team based in Athens and the introduction of full line services for commercial shipping.
The Cayman Islands has experienced significant growth in the Greek market for both the commercial and pleasure industries.
Commercial shipping has grown steadily by 28 percent over the past three years while pleasure yacht registrations have doubled over the past three months alone, Walton said.
Headquartered in George Town, Grand Cayman, the CISR also maintains offices in Southampton, Amsterdam, Athens and Tokyo.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, 8 June 2006


Historic yacht comes home to Greece
---The first flagship of the Yacht Club of Greece, the Aello, has returned to Greek waters after an absence of about 70 years.
And the gaff-rigged schooner, built in 1921 by Hamburg shipbuilder Max Oertz, has also returned to Greek ownership. Ion Varouxakis of US-listed Freeseas recently bought it from the Rockefeller family of the US.
Still boasting its original copper fittings and an antique rowing boat, the ship was originally owned by Antonis Benakis.
The Alexandrian Greek, also known as a public benefactor in Greece, became one of the founding members of the Yacht Club in 1928, committing the Aello as the club's flagship.
Two years later Benakis sold the yacht. It has since travelled around the world and seen a number of various owners.
Of the most notable owners was one English admiral who found it abandoned in the South of England after World War Two. He restored the ship to its original glory using Burma teak that had sunk in Irish waters in 1917 along with the cargoship that carried it.
The Aello, which is a sistership to the Meteor II, originally owned by Kaiser William II, is now moored in Paleo Faliron. Varouxakis says he intends to enter the ship in races, given that it can reach speeds of 12 to 14 knots.
Varouxakis has gone as far as to include a copy of the widely read children's book "Crazy Antonis" in the yacht's small library. The novel, written by Penelope Delta, is about her brother's mischievous childhood games her brother being Antonis Benakis.
Perhaps it's the same mischief that lead Benakis to give the yacht a name with a double meaning.
Aello was one of the harpies of Greek mythology that blew strong winds.
She also happened to be extremely beautiful and typified the woman who consumes her husband's riches.
Source: www.tradewinds.com. published: 09 June 2006