Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 33 - 2006

 

Oil spill assistance pledged

International agencies agree at Piraeus meeting to aid Lebanon in cleanup
HARRY VAN VERSENDAAL
International experts meeting in Piraeus yesterday unveiled a plan to limit the damage from a devastating oil spill caused after Israeli raids on a Lebanon power plant last month.
Officials from the United Nations, the European Union and the International Maritime Organization promised technical and financial assistance and put the cost of the cleanup in the range of 50 million euros or more.
Nearly 15,000 tons of fuel oil leaked from the Jiyyeh plant south of Beirut on July 13 and 15 after storage tanks were hit by Israeli jets. According to UN estimates, the oil slick has polluted more than 140 kilometers of coastline, stretching all the way up to Syria.
Experts warn that Cyprus, Turkey and Greece could be affected by the disaster.
Steiner expressed hope that the UN-brokered truce which came into force Monday will open the door to experts and equipment.
The so-called international assistance action plan calls for immediate, helicopter-based aerial surveys to evaluate the damage. It also asks donors to provide in-kind assistance including pumps, hoses, skimmers and storage means.
Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis attended the meeting, as did officials from Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria.
Apart from the impact on marine life and regional economic activity, such as tourism and fishing, environment groups have warned about the health hazards posed by the spill.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, 18 Aug 2006


Alarming levels of marine pollution
According to research conducted by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE) using satellite images, 579 oil slicks were detected in the Aegean over the last four years - a rate of 12 per month.
Researchers told Kathimerini that there are many more oil slicks in the Aegean which are not visible on satellite images.
The cause of this pollution is not collisions between ships but the discarding of waste on purpose by vessels, ELKETHE claims.
Coast guard officers think a passing ship was to blame for the two oil slicks some 30 meters wide, which appeared at Varkiza and Vari beaches, putting thousands of beachgoers off their Saturday swim.
Pavlakis believes ships that pass through Greece are the main polluters of Greek seas.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, 14 August 2006


No summer hideaway for owners
Source: Fairplay International Shipping Weekly, 17 Aug 2006


Smaller Greeks in fleet growth
A number ofGreek owners have been busy renewing and expanding their fleets.
Greek purchases of bulkers this year have been dominated by en-bloc deals involving mainly listed companies. But riding on the high market, a surprising number of small companies have managed to expand and renew their fleets with one or two new vessels.
In November 2005, the 42,000-dwt Ioannis Th (built 1984) fetched a nice profit when it was sold for $10.15m. Evripos bought the ship as the Alio in December 2003 for $7.3m. In July, the company sold the 35,000-dwt Alexandros Th (built 1984) for $7m. That ship was acquired in 2002 for just under $5m.
In January, Evripos bought the 45,000-dwt Ioannis Theo (built 1995) as the Coral Gem from fellow Greek operator Gleamray for $19.8m.
The company's second buy only surfaced after the vessel's name was changed. In April, the 45,000-dwt Tomahawk (built 1997) was reported sold to Chinese buyers for $22.3m but the ship now appears to have joined Evripos's fleet as the Efi Theo .
Two other ships have also disappeared from DND's fleet list, although the sales have not been reported. The 33,900-dwt Amalfi (built 1976) is now listed as the Pacific Sun under the management of Hanoi Maritime Holding Co, while the 36,000-dwt Gold Friday (built 1978) has been renamed Explorer and is under the management of Jacksoon Shipping of Taiwan.
DND is thoughtto be the buyer of the 41,000-dwt Nikos N (built 1984), which was reported sold for $9.75m, and Varun Shipping's 42,000-dwt Surya Kripa (built 1985). No price has been given for that deal.
The total cost of all these deals may pale in insignificance when compared with one of the larger en-bloc transactions but it is heartening to note that the smaller companies, traditionally the backbone of Greek shipping, are still able to take advantage of a good market and keep growing.
By Gillian Whittaker, Athens, published: 18 August 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Greeks order Hantong handymaxes
With each ship costing about $30m, the order is potentially worth $180m.
Brokers said Primera Maritime had contracted Hantong Heavy to build two vessels with an option for a third with delivery scheduled from October 2008.
Good Faith Shipping had placed a similar order, again with delivery from the end of 2008.
Hantong Heavy Industry, at Nantong in Jiangsu province about 60 nautical miles from Shanghai, started operations in July 2005 following an agreement between Nantong Ocean Water Construction and a South Korean partner
The yard, which started building its first ships last December, is focusing on bulk carrier newbuildings of between 20,000 dwt-70,000 dwt, shiprepair and the fabrication of large offshore platforms and steel structures.
The shipyard has a shipbuilding capacity of 300,000 dwt a year.
Hantong Heavy won contracts in June from Norwegian marine services company, Sevan Marine, for a Sevan stabilised platform FPSO and a drilling unit in deals believed to be worth about $200m.
Source: www.lloydslist.co.uk, Friday August 18 2006


Greek ship acknowledges fault in California oil incident
Aug. 17 -- A Greek shipping company has pleaded guilty to illegally discharging oil from a ship and then obstructing a Coast Guard investigation.
Danaos Shipping Company Ltd., headquartered in Piraeus, Greece, has agreed to pay a $500,000 criminal fine, with half the fine going toward community service projects benefiting the environment.
A Danaos representative appeared in Aug. 14 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. He entered guilty pleas on behalf of the company to a felony charge of obstructing a Coast Guard investigation and a misdemeanor charge of negligently discharging oil.
The oil discharge came from the cargo ship APL Guatemala when it was anchored in the Port of Long Beach in July 2001. The Coast Guard initially was notified after the crew observed an oil sheen on the water, which dissipated. However, the next day, the crew observed a fresh oil leak, and instead of notifying the National Response Center, they poured detergent into the water in an attempt to disperse and hide the spill, according to the Justice Department. In addition, the company hired a diver who observed oil flowing from the vessel. Company officials directed the diver to remove the oil, but to omit information from a report he filed about an oil leak.
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson has scheduled an Oct. 23 sentencing hearing. Justice officials anticipate the judge will impose the terms of a plea agreement that includes three years probation for the company and a requirement it implement and fund an environmental management and compliance plan. In addition, the company agreed to commit no further violations of international agreements and to pay full restitution to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard.
Source: http://www.wastenews.com, By Bruce Geiselman


Mike Grey to chair Mare Forum in Athens
The Mare Forum calls itself a unique channel for communication between regulators, implementers and enforcers, at the highest level of both government and industry, and with a global outlook.
Its first session was held in Amsterdam some 10 years ago, and this Athens gathering will be asked to focus on the Green Paper on Maritime Policy, published by the European Commission two months ago and which sets out the building blocks of an integrated strategy on maritime affairs.
Shipping is just one of the envisaged key elements, but, as the announcement brochure states, of no less importance than any of the other elements, which concern the wider uses of the seas and oceans, energy issues, coastal management and development, among others.
There will be sessions dedicated to shipping market issues including supply and demand forecasts, finance and investment, and human factor issues, such as maritime recruitment and labor standards, sea skills, and criminalization.
The numerous confirmed speakers include legislators, policy-makers and industry figures from around the world.
Source: http://www.bulletinpa.com, 14 August 2006


Quintana Maritime Secures Nine Additional Vessels For Approximately $23 K Per Day - Update [QMAR]
8/17/2006 10:56:38 AM Thursday morning, Quintana Maritime Ltd. (QMAR), a provider of dry bulk cargo marine transportation services, revealed that it secured a total of nine additional vessels under its master time charter with Bunge S.A. for the year 2007 at an average daily rate of approximately $23 thousand per day.
The Greece-based company said that of the nine vessels, recently acquired or set to be acquired from Metrobulk, seven are Kamsarmaxes, while two were Panamaxes. Further, Quintana noted that the nine vessels, along with the five vessels previously fixed, are expected to be delivered by year-end 2006, with the exception of Iron Lindrew to be delivered in January 2007. The company stated that as of date, it had a total of fourteen vessels with Bunge S.A. for 2007, including the five Kamsarmaxes that were previously fixed at an average rate of $20 thousand per day.
The company said that an additional Panamax, Grain Harvester, is already on time charter with Bunje through September 2009 at $20 thousand per day, and is expected to be delivered to Quintana prior to the end of the year. Quintana further said that two of the Kamsarmaxes to be acquired from Metrobulk remain unfixed and added that they are expected to be delivered ex-yard between March and May 2007.
Quintana noted that on account of these fixtures, the company secured almost 84% of its expected net operating days for 2007 on charter with fixed rates. Further, the company said that it estimates the secured net operating days to correspond to approximately $168 million in expected net revenues in 2007. The company stated that the vessels were fixed under the master charter agreement with Bunge S.A that calls for annual renewals in early November annually, and lasts through the end of 2010.
In Thursday's regular trading session, QMAR is currently trading at $9.38, up $0.12 or 1.30% from Wednesday's close.
Source: http://www.rttnews.com