Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 35 - 2006
---The construction of Pier 6 in the port of Thessaloniki is entering its materialisation stage. The works will cost 100 million euros and are expected to turn Thessaloniki into an economic centre in the Balkans. The relevant contract was signed by Greek Mercantile Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis and the Vice President of the European Investments Bank (EIB). What is more, the Minister announced special incentives for shipping routes connecting the city with the Sporades, Cyclades and the Dodecanese Islands.
Source: http://news.ert.gr/en/9/20367.asp, 01 Sep 2006 09:00:00
Kefaloyiannis said "the geographical position of Thessaloniki could see it become a port number one importance". Thessaloniki operates as a gateway for much of the traffic in and out of the Balkans and this movement is expected to grow greatly with Bulgarian and Romanian membership of the European Union, slated to take place in 2007.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 1 September 2006 Vol. 7 / No. 32
Putin revives plan for Greek oil port
---by John Helmer
The 285-kilometre pipeline, with a capacity to transport 1 million barrels of crude per day, and costing about $700 million, would bring Russian crude oil closer than ever before to the Suez Canal, for shipment eastwards to Indian and African buyers.
Transneft also opposed the new Greek pipeline for as long as it had hopes of getting Turkish government approval for a pipeline route from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, parallel to the Greek route, but on Turkish territory.
Article printed from The Russia Journal: http://www.russiajournal.com
URL to article: http://www.russiajournal.com/?p=10071
Source: The Russia Journal - http://www.russiajournal.com, Posted By Newsroom On 31st August 2006 @ 12:45 In Home, Politics, International, Economy, Companies, Business | Comments Disabled
Absence of year boosts Hellenic club
---A year without major casualties has helped the Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association deliver a surplus of $2.1m as well as reduced insurance costs.
The club was able to increase reserves to $40.6m from $38.5m following a successful year, which saw the insured fleet pass the $50bn mark for the first time.
Rising ship prices added $4.75bn to the value of the fleet of 2,126 ships mostly bulkers and tankers insured by the club.
Premium income of the club fell to $17.8m in 2005 from $22.1m but spending on reinsurance was also sharply down at $13.3m from $17m the previous year.
Despite the reduced premium income, the club cut insurance costs for many members for the current year by increasing the discount on the flat-rate tariff of 0.01875% of the value of a ship from 22.5% to 25% for fleets valued at more than $100m and from 30% to 50% for fleets of $1bn or more.
In his annual report, Hellenic Mutual War Risks club chairman John M Lyras notes that while there was an absence of major war-risk casualties, merchant shipping continues to face numerous armed attacks with an insured vessel boarded and forced to sail for Somalia where it was held for almost a month.
The Hellenic Mutual War Risks club assisted the owner in negotiations that resulted in the safe release of the ship, crew and cargo.
The annual report recordsthe long-running legal battles over the loss of the 12,000-dwt Demetra Beauty (built 1974) and serious damage sustained bythe 61,500-dwt Athena (built 1979) as a contingent liabilitybut says the litigation is beingdefended and it is considered there is no liability to pay damages for the various claims advanced.
The Hellenic Mutual War Risks club numbers many well known Greek shipowners as members including Angelicoussis, Chandris, Coumantaros, Fafalios, Goulandris, Laskaridis, Lemos, Los, Lykiardopulo, Marcantonaki, Panagopoulos, Pateras, Polemis and Veniamis.
By Jim Mulrenan, London, published: 01 September 2006
Ship's Chief Engineer Gets Probation in Oil Dumping Case
---WILMINGTON, Del. (AP)- The chief engineer of a cargo ship suspected of illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean in violation of U.S. and international laws was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to maintaining an inaccurate log book.
Adrian Dragomir, 55, a Romanian national, pleaded guilty to one count of not maintaining an accurate log book in which such oil discharges are supposed to be recorded.
Dragomir, who has been subject to United States immigration controls since December, plans to return home as soon as possible to Bucharest and a reunion with his ailing wife and two daughters, said his lawyer, Carl Woodward III.
"Better," Dragomir said when asked how he felt after an hour-long court appearance.
A federal grand jury in Delaware returned an indictment in July charging two Greek shipping companies, Dragomir, and two other individuals with conspiring to illegally dump waste oil from the tanker Irene into the ocean last fall. The indictment also alleges that Chian Spirit Maritime Enterprises, Venetico Marine and the individual defendants told crew members of the Irene to lie to the Coast Guard about the dumping of oily sludge and oil-contaminated bilge water into the Atlantic.
At the time, the Irene was sailing from Africa to Brazil and the United States.
Under an international treaty known as MARPOL, large oceangoing vessels must use oily water separators, known as OWS, to filter bilge water to no more than 15 parts per million of oil before it can be discharged overboard. The oil captured by the OWS is then supposed to be disposed of at shore facilities. Vessels are required to log their OWS operations and overboard discharges in an Oil Record Book.
To circumvent the law, ship crews often use hoses or pipes, sometimes called "magic pipes," to bypass the oily water separator, then make false entries into the Oil Record Book.
The owners and operators of the Irene were indicted following a December inspection by the Coast Guard while the ship was anchored in the Delaware Bay. According to the indictment, Dragomir directed crew members to discharge oily waste directly into the ocean about four times a week over a two-month period last fall, then told a crew member to hide the bypass pipe as the ship approached the U.S.
In his plea agreement, Dragomir admitted that he failed to include an illegal discharge from the Irene in late November in the Oil Record Book. Dragomir has denied, however, that he ordered the crew to dump the oily waste overboard.
Woodward said after Wednesday's hearing that Dragomir learned upon boarding the ship in Africa in October that the OWS was not working properly, and that he simply ordered the bilge waste to be pumped into a holding tank.
U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Sleet seemed to accept the defense's contention that the illegal dumping could have resulted from a breakdown in communication between the Irene's Romanian and Filipino crew members.
"It is entirely possible ... that there might have been something lost in the translation, as it were," said Sleet, who rejected the government's argument that Dragomir deserved prison time. The judge also knocked off three aggravating points from the sentencing guideline calculations to which the defense and prosecution had agreed.
"The court wishes you well in your travels home," Sleet told Dragomir. "Godspeed."
Dragomir faced a maximum possible penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although sentencing guidelines called for no more than six months in prison. In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of conspiracy and witness tampering against him.
Jeffrey Phillips, an attorney with the Justice Department's environmental crimes section, told Sleet that Dragomir had committed a serious criminal offense by not noting the illegal discharge in the log book.
"Justice for this crime requires more than inconvenience," Phillips said, referring to the eight months Dragomir has spent in a Philadelphia motel, isolated from his family and unable to work.
Woodward argued that Dragomir, whose wife has severe hypertension and suffered a heart attack earlier this year, has stayed in the U.S. against his wishes for several months and did not deserve to be sent to prison.
Sleet concluded that Dragomir's stay in the United States amounted to more than an "inconvenience," but could instead be characterized as "a form of incarceration, albeit not behind bars."
Source: http://www.wboc.com, 08/31/2006
DryShips plunges on lower rates
Source: Fairplay Daily News 31 Aug 2006
Minoan gets early bids in battle for Hellenic
---MINOAN Lines has received two written offers to buy its shareholding in rival Greek ferry operation Hellenic Seaways.
Minoan, which operates its own modern ferry fleet on routes between Piraeus and Crete and between Greece and Italy, is currently the largest shareholder in Hellenic Seaways, which it founded in the 1990s as Minoan Flying Dolphins.
Reportedly if NEL succeeds in its attempts to buy the shares its stake in Hellenic Seaways will rise to more than 43%.
Sources close to Minoan, however, are indicating that neither offer is likely to be accepted.
It is understood that the two offers contain conditions that Minoan is also likely to rebuff and that the company is interested only in a pure cash offer.
Source: www.lloydslist.com, By Nigel Lowry in Athens- Wednesday August 30 2006
INTERVIEW-Thriving Greek tourism boosted by Turkish woes
---Source By Karolos Grohmann
ATHENS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Greek tourism, a main pillar of the country's economy, is heading for a bumper year, and bomb blasts in neighbouring Turkey could give the late summer season an extra boost, an industry official said on Wednesday.
"The feeling is that overall we will have a good season," Stavros Andreadis, president of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE), told Reuters in an interview.
"We expect an annual rise in arrivals of about eight or nine percent. We will see a similar rise in revenues."
Capping an outstanding performance since the 2004 Athens Olympics, SETE said the end of the summer season in September and October could be even better than expected, partly due to this week's bomb blasts in Turkey.
A Kurdish separatist group has claimed responsibility for the series of bomb attacks this week, which have affected arrivals and driven some tourists out of Turkey.
"There is no doubt that Greece has benefited from such events, now and in the past, as it has also benefited from staging secure Olympic Games," Andreadis said.
"But all this is circumstantial and one should not depend on such things. If there is no security scare in these countries for a couple of years then people will return there," he said.
Tourism accounts for an estimated 18 percent of Greece gross domestic product (GDP) and roughly one in five jobs. The economy is seen growing by 3.8 percent in 2006, among the highest rates in the euro zone.
Greece is expecting to host more than 14 million foreign tourists this year, up from 13.4 million in 2005.
Andreadis said the months of September and October could also turn out to be unexpectedly busy.
"The tail of the season, which is always very crucial, could be very good this year," he said.
LONG QUEUES, BAD TRANSPORT
But he warned that Greece would not be able to capitalise further on this growth unless it improved infrastructure.
"Why would someone come to invest in tourism in Crete when tourists at the overflowing airport at Heraklion need an average 90 minutes to depart or to land because of the sheer number of visitors," he said.
Greece has also been hit by long delays in ferry connections to the islands, expensive ferry tickets and mediocre services on board.
"Essentially we are offering the same product we offered four years ago, with the exception of Athens, which got a facelift for the Olympics," he said.
Andreadis urged the government to act while business was good.
"We are talking about a nine percent rise in a mature market like Greece and this is very important. We are not a new destination like Croatia for example where such growth figures would be normal," he said.
"The government has to understand that, and draw up a long-term plan, five years or 10 years, that would trigger investment in the sector and help build on this growth," he said. "Our tourism product must be improved."
Source: http://www.alertnet.org, 30 Aug 2006 14:04:41 GMT-
Roh to Visit Greece First on 14-Day Trip
---By Ryu Jin, Staff Reporter
President Roh Moo-hyun will depart for Greece on Sunday on the first leg of a two-week overseas trip, which will also take him to Romania, Finland and the United States, according to Chong Wa Dae on Friday.
Accompanied by a large entourage, including several key Cabinet ministers, he will first go to the Greek capital, Athens, for a three-day state visit. He is scheduled to hold a summit with Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Sept. 4 to discuss ways to improve ties between the two countries and promote economic cooperation, especially in shipbuilding, marine transportation and tourism.
On Sept. 5, he will fly to Bucharest, Romania, for another three-day state visit where he will meet President Traian Basescu for a summit on Sept. 6 for discussions on mutual cooperation in various fields, including trade and nuclear power generation.
Roh will then head for Helsinki on Sept. 7 for a six-day state visit to Finland, during which he is scheduled to attend a two-day biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) from Sept. 10 to 11 and hold a summit with Finnish President Tarja Halonen.
Chong Wa Dae officials attached significance to the European tour as each visit, the first of its kind by an incumbent South Korean president, is expected to give South Korea a foothold to expand its diplomatic capability in Europe.
After the 10-day European trip, the president will cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12 for a four-day official visit to the United States, which will include summit talks with U.S. President Bush in Washington on Sept. 14.
Officials said main agenda would include bilateral issues, such as the U.S. transfer of wartime military command to South Korea and the ongoing talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two allies as well as the North Korean problems.
Before returning home on Sept. 16, Roh will stop over in San Francisco where he will meet opinion leaders and Korean residents there.
``We expect the country to strengthen cooperation with the three European nations in various fields and reaffirm its strong alliance with the United States through the president's visits,'' Chong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Tai-young said.
Euroseas Ltd. to Present at the Roth Capital Partners Conference
---MAROUSSI, ATHENS, GREECE--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 31, 2006 -- Euroseas Ltd. (OTC BB:ESEAF.OB - News) announced today that on September 6th, 2006, it will present at the 19th Annual OC Conference organized by Roth Capital Partners. The conference will take place at the Westin New York at Times Square, in New York City, from September 6th to the 7th.
For more information about the conference please visit http://www.rothcp.com/index06%20DP.html
After the conference, investor may access the presentation at: http://www.euroseas.gr/ir_presentations.html
About Euroseas Ltd.
Euroseas Ltd. was formed on May 5, 2005 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to consolidate the ship owning interests of the Pittas family of Athens, Greece, which has been in the shipping business over the past 135 years. Euroseas currently trades on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board under the ticker (OTC BB:ESEAF.OB - News) and has applied for listing on the Nasdaq National Market.
Euroseas operates in the dry cargo, drybulk and container shipping markets. Euroseas' operations are managed by Eurobulk Ltd., an ISO 9001:2000 certified affiliated ship management company, which is responsible for the day-to-day commercial and technical management and operations of the vessels. Euroseas employs its vessels in the spot and time charter markets and through pool arrangements.
Following the acquisition of the M/V "Torm Tekla," Euroseas fleet will consist of 8 vessels, including 2 Panamax drybulk carriers, 2 Handysize drybulk carriers, 3 Handysize containerships and a Handysize multipurpose dry cargo vessel. Euroseas' 4 drybulk carrier vessels have a total cargo capacity of 207,464 deadweight tons (dwt), its 3 containerships have a cargo capacity of 66,100 dwt and 4,636 teu and its 1 multipurpose vessel has a cargo capacity of 22,568 dwt and 950 teu.
This press release contains forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events and the Company's growth strategy and measures to implement such strategy, including expected vessel acquisitions and entering into further time charters. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "anticipates," "hopes," "estimates," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to changes in the demand for drybulk vessels, competitive factors in the market in which the Company operates; risks associated with operations outside the United States; and other factors listed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based
Source: Press Release: Euroseas Ltd.
DryShips Second Quarter and First Half 2006 Presentation
---ATHENS, GREECE--(MARKET WIRE)--Aug 31, 2006 -- The management of DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS - News) held today a conference call and webcast on the second quarter and first half 2006 results.
The presentation slides used during this conference call and webcast can be accessed on the website of DryShips on the Investor relations section, under presentations. They can also be accessed directly, by clicking on the link below, or by copying the link and pasting it in your computer's browser.
About DryShips Inc.
DryShips Inc., based in Greece, is an owner and operator of drybulk carriers that operate worldwide. As of the day of this Release, DryShips owns a fleet of 29 drybulk carriers and has entered into agreements to acquire 5 additional vessels. Following delivery of these five vessels, DryShips fleet will consist of a total of 34 vessels and including 4 Capesize, 27 Panamax and 3 Handymax vessels with an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 2.75 dwt and an average age of 10.5 years.
DryShips Inc.'s common stock is listed on NASDAQ National Market where it trades under the symbol "DRYS."
Source: Thursday August 31, 12:33 pm ET
Excel Maritime Carriers Enters Into a One-Year Charter for M/V Forteza
---ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 08/31/06 -- Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE: EXM), an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, announced today that it has chartered M/V Forteza for a period of about 12/14 months at US $28,000 per day to a first class European charterer. The vessel was delivered into charter on August 30, 2006.
M/V Forteza is a Panamax dry bulk carrier of 69,634 dwt, built in 1993 in Japan, which the company acquired and took delivery of in March 2005.
CEO Christopher Georgakis commented, "We are pleased to announce that we have secured M/V Forteza for a period of 12/14 months to a first class European charterer. As of today, 13 of our 17 vessels or 76% of our fleet are deployed on short and long term period charters with the remaining 4 vessels, or 24% of our fleet trading in the spot market. In addition, the time charter agreement for M/V Forteza will further enhance the visibility and stability of our earnings."
About Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd
The Company is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. The company's current fleet consists of 17 vessels (ten Panamax and seven Handymax vessels) with a total carrying capacity of 1,004,930 dwt. The Company was incorporated in 1988 and its common stock had been listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) since 1998. As of September 15, 2005 Excel Maritime is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading under the symbol EXM. For more information about the Company, please go to our corporate website www.excelmaritime.com.