Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 41 - 2006

 

TMSA, World Coal, meetings, conferences, summits - taking place in Athens

 TMSA in Tanker Operations conference: 18 October, 2006, Athens, www.tankeroperator.com
 EIB FORUM 2006, Athens, 19-20 October 2006, Updated programme under www.eib.org/forum
 4th Ann. Digital Ship Athens - October 19-20, 2006, www.thedigitalship.com
 26th Coaltrans - World Coal Conference: 22-25 October 2006, Athens Hilton, www.coaltrans.com
 Greek Shipping Summit 2006: 3 November 2006, Grand Bretagne, Athens, www.greekshippingsummit.com
Source: Compiled from Internet and Press releases sent to news.desk@marine-marketing.gr


Greek Shipping - Job Openings
Job Openings Contact: AMB Consulting Athens, Captain Thorsten Bruhn thb@ambshipping.com
> Technical Superintendent LPG - Athens - 885 Our client a well established and still growing Greek Ship Management Company seeks for a Technical Superintendent with LPG and; or Product or Chemical Tanker experience with minimum 2 years experience in Technical Superintendence. The ideal candidate should have either sailed as Chief Engineer, 2nd. Engineer or be a graduated Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. Your must be fluent in English and be prepared to travel for Ships Audits, Ship Repairs and vessels Dry Docking. This is a great opportunity to join a 1st. class company with long term prospects and commitments.
> Marine Officer - Coordinator - Athens - 849 Our clients seeks a Marine Officer for their Branch Office in Athens. The ideal candidate should be a University Degree holder in Shipping / Marine Transportation or a master mariner having sailed as Chief Officers or 2nd. Mate on Crude, Product / Chemical Tankers, LPG experience would be an advantage. You must be eager to learn, to move forward, being customer focused, be team oriented and have minimum 2 years shore experience in a similar position. Your English must be excellent. The reward is a competitive package with good career development perspectives in a multicultural environment.
> Marine Superintendent Athens - 848 Our client seeks a Marine Superintendent for their Branch Office in Athens. The ideal candidate should be a master mariner having sailed as a Master or as Chief Officers on Crude, Product / Chemical Tankers, LPG experience would be an advantage. You must have a strong personality, being customer focused, be team oriented and have minimum 5 years shore experience in a similar position. Your English must be excellent. The reward is a competitive package with good career development perspectives in a multicultural environment.
> Chartering Manager Dry - Athens Voula - Ref. 806 Our client is a new established company focusing on sea transportation of cargoes who seek for a highly motivated individual. They maintain a portfolio of clients in various commodity sectors, originating from CIS, South America, China and India. They believe that continuous growth of seaborne cargoes in these regions will be the key to the success of the new venture. The ideal candidate should have minimum 5 years experience in chartering, particularly have good knowledge in handy / handymax and panamax markets and should be familiar with FFA. This is a good opportunity for someone mid 30th late 20th whose career was stuck in a traditional ship owning /brokerage company and who has the drive to achieve a lot by working hardly in a rapidly growing company operating in a high potential markets. Your English must be excellent and Greek would be an advantage, but is not a must. This is a great opportunity with excellent career prospects. Salary will be very competitive based on experience and personality and will include performance based incentive scheme.
> Chartering Broker Dry - Athens Voula - Ref. 877 Our client is a new established company focusing on sea transportation of cargoes who seek for a highly motivated individual. They maintain a portfolio of clients in various commodity sectors, originating from CIS, South America, China and India. They believe that continuous growth of seaborne cargoes in these regions will be the key to the success of the new venture. As Chartering Broker you will be responsible for managing relationship with existing customers and developing relations with new customers. The ideal candidate should have minimum 3 years experience in chartering, particularly have good knowledge in handy / handymax and panamax markets and should be familiar with FFA. This is a good opportunity for someone mid 20th / early 30th who has the drive to achieve a lot by working hardly in a rapidly growing company operating in a high potential markets. Your English must be excellent and Greek would be an advantage, but is not a must. This is a great opportunity with excellent career prospects. Salary will be very competitive based on experience and personality and will include performance based incentive scheme.
> Operations Manager Dry - Athens Voula - Ref. 876 Our client is a new established company focusing on sea transportation of cargoes who seek a highly motivated individual. They maintain a portfolio of clients in various commodity sectors, originating from CIS, South America, China and India. They believe that continuous growth of seaborne cargoes in these regions will be the key to the success of the new venture. You will be responsible for the efficient running of the company's time chartered ships in all aspects and you must be familiar with legal aspects of various operational issues. You should have minimum 5 years experience as an Operations Manager or Operator and be prepared to learn and grow within in the company. Your English must be excellent and Greek would be an advantage. This is a great opportunity with excellent career prospects. Salary will be very competitive based on experience and personality.
> Operator Dry - Athens Voula - Ref. 805 Our client is a new established company focusing on sea transportation of cargoes who seek for a highly motivated individual. They maintain a portfolio of clients in various commodity sectors, originating from CIS, South America, China and India. They believe that continuous growth of seaborne cargoes in these regions will be the key to the success of the new venture. You will be responsible for the efficient running of the company's time chartered ships in all aspects and you must be familiar with legal aspects of various operational issues. You should have minimum 3 years experience as an operator and be prepared to learn and grow within in the company. Your English must be excellent and Greek would be an advantage. This is a great opportunity with excellent career prospects. Salary will be very competitive based on experience and personality.
Source: Captain Thorsten Bruhn, thb@ambshipping.com, 4 October 2006


Greek shipping mourns loss of shipowner
---The Greek shipping community said farewell this week to one of its stalwart members, Efstathios (Stathis) Gourdomichalis, who died at the age of 83.
With family roots in the traditionally tough southern Peloponnese region of Mani, Gourdomichalis was born in Athens, where he finished school and completed his first degree in economics.
During the German occupation of Greece, he became deeply involved in resistance efforts, for which he was later honoured.
In 1943, he escaped from Greece to the Middle East, where he remained until 1947, when he moved to London and completed his graduate studies at the London School of Economics.
Gourdomichalis became involved with shipping in London, where he lived for several decades, working for and collaborating with several Greek shipping companies. He was also a member of the Baltic Exchange.
In 1968, he established Gourdomichalis Maritime in London and in 1974, the company transferred its headquarters to Greece.
From 1975 onwards, Gourdomichalis made a long-term commitment and contribution to the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) as treasurer then as vice-president under the late Anthony Chandris and from December 1984 to 1991 as president.
Much of the rapid growth and development of the Greek oceangoing merchant fleet began during the period of his presidency as shipping came out of the crisis of the 1980s.
Often formal and always correct, Gourdomichalis could also reveal a pungent sense of humour.
Stathis Gourdomichalis is survived by his wife, Rena, and three daughters, Toula, Regina and Aliki, six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Gillian Whittaker Athens published: 13 October 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Greek Colour
---At the Piraeus Marine Club on the Akti Miaouli Wednesday night shipowners and financiers gathered to celebrate the next day's 8th annual Marine Money Greek Ship Finance Forum. The dinner, sponsored by Navios Corporation, was toasted by Angeliki Frangou and Marine Money's Kevin Oates while such shipping veterans as Angeliki's father, George Economou, Stamatis Molaris, George Gourdomichalis, Mons Bolin. Meanwhile Mark Friedman of Merrill Lynch and Loli Wu of Citibank both made it to Greece only days after successfully closing the Danaos deal. But we could go on some 345 times with names from the dinner and conference that took place at the Ledra Marriott on Syngrou.
A signal theme was the incredibly robust energy and size of the Greek shipping community and its open mindedness to finding the very best capital structure. Whether it was the smiling John Coustas of Danaos whose deal was done just last week, or the passion of Stamatis Tsantanis of Top Tankers, the energy level was high and the enthusiasm strong for the future.
Chief sponsor and partner Fortis opened the formal conference with a cautiously positive world economic review. Guy Verberne ran the audience through China and global trade and growth statistics that wanted to be cautious, but time and again was soberly positive.
Matt Flynn with HK and Singapore based WorldYards told the audience that Chinese yards, in their goal to be the world shipbuilding leader by 2015, had delivered 10.9 million dwt in 2005 and that additional capacity and efficiency gains added a further 15 million tons. At the same time Korean capacity was pushing out tonnage at ever growing rates and that the view that Japan was in decline was erroneous. Pointing also to newbuilding yards in Vietnam, Brazil, the Philippines and India, Mr. Flynn cautioned that tight supply is just an illusion.
Coffee created a buzz that filled the hotel. The delightful mix of international players, coffee and smoke left an upbeat hotel lobby that was difficult to get back to their seats.
But it was worth it as the still critical element of debt finance was well delivered by Vassilis Mantzavinos from Hypovereinsbank, Ulf Anderson from Nordea and Gust Biesbroeck from Fortis.
Ulf also explained a bit about the Norwegian bond market and its $4 billion activity in 2006.
Comments from the audience seemed to indicate that shipping companies singly were doing more than governments, associations or unions combined.
TEN sponsored a packed lunch where friends and family sat only at the end when all guests had found a seat. TEN Chairman John Stavropoulos graciously welcomed the guests and a sharp eye could see deals being discussed room wide.
The afternoon debated values, financing options from private equity to the London AIM and asked the question: Is public worth it?
There was little doubt that the answer was yes. Going public leads to growth, lower costs of capital, recognition by charterers, fuels efficient M&A and permit stronger competitive positions for those public.
Scrutiny and disclosure along with shareholder focus aside, if growth is a goal the markets are there.
Put together 300+ entrepreneurial businessmen and women and, well, only good things can happen. That was true in Greece today.
Source: http://www.marinemoney.com M a r i n e M o n e y F r e s h l y M i n t e d T h u r s d a y , O c t o b e r 1 2 , 2 0 0 6 v Page 9


The Public Image of Shipping - How we portray ourselves to the outside world?
Speech by David Glass, Managing Editor, Naftialiaki / Newsfront given at the 8th Annual Marine Money Ship Finance Forum, 12 October 2006 Athens Ledra Marriott.
Mr Moderator, Fellow Panalists, Ladies and Gentlemen.
As the fourth speaker in this session, everyone has stolen my thunder. Or almost.
This session tackles two issues. The Public Image of Shipping. And. How we portray ourselves to the outside world?
They are of course linked but are also quite separate.
Over the past few weeks I carried out a little survey on the Public image of Shipping. In all I approached 15 people inside shipping and outside and living in Greece and abroad.
Most, 11, thought shipping had a good image. Of the ones who thought otherwise, three worked in shipping and the fourth was an environmentalist.
I believe, that perhaps that tells us something.
The wider public in fact is indifferent to our industry and if pressed will say shipping is important to their wellbeing, though of course people are quite staggered when one runs through the figures which paint a picture of just how important.
I believe shipping does not have a major image problem outside of the industry. Like all industries, when there is a problem, there is a problem, but outside the various specialist sectors of the media dealing with that specific industry, the event which caused the problem is soon forgotten by all except those directly involved, whether it be shipping, rail, freight, airtransport, the fertiliser industry or the pharmaceutical industry, etc etc
And invariably those in the industry which has had the nasty experience, take steps to try and prevent a repeat of the experience. Shipping is no exception here, but once again the only people aware of this are usually those involved in the industry.
Thus, what is more important is the general 'perception' of the shipping industry. If shipping has an image, it is directly influenced by the wider perception of the industry. It is the perception that has to be tackled.
This perception has to be changed and this will only be done if the industry, the whole industry, devotes itself to the effort. The politicians have their agenda and it is up to the people in the industry to be pro-active to ensure the politicians are shown to be wasting their energy. Otherwise they will make life at sea rougher than it already is.
The current problems with waste disposal and port of refuge are good examples of politicians with political agendas, introducing a regulation only not to ultimately follow it through.
As I see it, shipping people have to take matters into their own hands. Start by putting things right within the industry, a process which is now starting to gain momentum. But there is still too much preaching to the converted, shipping has [to] go out and lobby if you like.
I think we all agree with Mr Mitropoulos. We have to sow the message that shipping is everyone's industry, a great industry, and that it's health has an impact on the health of all.
Indeed, those in the maritime industry must be prepared to do their bit, give some time, even put their hands in their pocket, to promote both the positives of shipping and demonstrate these positives. The simple things are often the most successful, look at what Helmepa and the various Junior mepas have achieved. More recently we have the Poseidon Challenge and its worthy goals.
I wonder just how many shipowners, indeed shipping people, will take an active part in going, and impressing, and explaining the rewards of a career in shipping to these children. I wonder what material towards this effort will be provided by the shipping industry.
Something to think about. Much of the public sees shipping as an industry of rich people who do not pay tax. And they wonder why this is. Is it surprising so many people are waiting to grab what they can when there is an opportunity?
Well, no single player can do this, all of shipping has to work together. Perhaps those of you who have become so adept at selling shipping to investors, people who are certainly no fools, could take a more active role in the wider effort to promote the industry by going to the real investor, not just the fund managers. You will be among those who benefit if everyone has a better knowledge of how shipping works.
We have just heard that banks are ready to become more involved in the welfare of the industry. I wonder if they really are, or are just interested in protecting themselves.
Source: The 8th Annual Marine Money Ship Finance Forum, 12 October 2006 Athens Ledra Marriott.


---Viewpoint Michael Grey- Monday October 09 2006
There is an enormous amount of well-meaning effort going into encouraging young people to take up a seagoing career.
The right sort of buttons are pressed by those doing the recruiting, who have learned disappointment over the years and modified their message accordingly.
They stress the fact that it is, at least in those countries where higher education is very expensive for the individual, an excellent way of getting professional training while being paid for it.
They stress the interest in the technology of modern shipping, the early responsibility that comes with the job and the financial rewards which, while they could be better, are not bad.
They emphasise the career opportunities that are available for those willing to apply themselves. And, while they might no longer go on too long about the magic and mystery of foreign ports, of which modern seafarers tend only to obtain a fleeting glimpse, they are right to tell people, like the Water Rat, that far wild seas offer their own fascination.
But, there are still plenty of marine employers who will suggest that all this excellent work that is being done on the recruiting front in Europe is rather a waste of time, with a large expenditure in money and time for little reward.
In the advanced and industrialised countries, so this argument develops, seafaring is now socially unacceptable as a way of life and we should admit this and do like so many others and recruit in countries where large numbers of people are still prepared to go to sea.
Perhaps they have little choice in the matter, with seafaring enabling them to better themselves socially.
And when thousands of people are rushing forward to avail themselves of such opportunities as are offered, what is the point of flogging oneself so hard to try to persuade spoilt European youngsters that a sea career might be a worthwhile move?
Circumstances change. The Vikings who were such masters of the oceans 1,000 years ago chopped up their peerless ships for firewood and became robber barons in Normandy and barley barons in the Danelaw.
The young Portuguese whose voyages to the Brazils and the unexplored world sustained that small Iberian country for centuries gave up their carracks for life ashore. The Maoris rolled their ships ashore in New Zealand and never budged again once they could be assured of a square meal.
The Greeks still love ships and make money from them, but too many Greek parents these days will regard themselves as abject failures if their children elect to go to sea rather than chase at least two degrees at university.
But rather more of me still clings to the belief that the operation and management of ships is something that is so important, so essential an industry that it is suicidal madness for any maritime nation not to persist with its marine recruitment and to withdraw from the generational development of sea skills.
Indeed, its size and international importance should offer us even more encouragement. It is not like deep coal mining or some other industry which has moved away from these shores because others do it better.
It is the very blood supply of world trade and expertise in such a business is something to which every advanced economy ought to aspire.
But you cannot get away from the numerous negative aspects of modern seafaring, which are inevitably listed when this subject is debated.
I listened to them again at the Mare Forum in Athens, where there was a useful session on the human element.
Seafaring, it might be summed up, has become so unattractive that only those who have limited alternative choices are prepared to do it.
There is simply no fun afloat today in the grim, steel boxes that criss-cross the seven seas. Crews cut to the bone, senior officers dropping with fatigue, shown scant respect by the gimlet-eyed fault finders stamping aboard in every port.
Endless, pointless, morale-sapping inspections, largely carried out by jobsworths clearing their own yardarms. Perpetual paperwork, so much of it equally meaningless, and such a regulatory burden that not even the most brilliant human being could keep up with it all. Enjoy.
What sort of industry is it that sends a replacement crew 26 hours in a minibus from Croatia to Denmark and then expects them to take their new ship to sea within a few minutes of dismounting as the vehicle is required to take the relieved crew home?
Why is the accommodation aboard new ships infinitely worse, in terms of facilities, than that of older vessels?
What sort of sensible, serious young European, who had choices about a career, would opt for such a regime? Best go for the developing world or FSU options, where they might be prepared to put up with such a cheerless life, which may not be greatly worse than that to which they are used ashore.
It is tempting to conclude that this torrent of negative thinking brooks no meaningful response and that we just go with the flow.
But why should we? If we think that our industry has a future, and we have a future in it, we need to tackle all these negative aspects. And they are all capable of change if there is sufficient determination in a big, important, international industry.
If we are to change things for the better, it is worth thinking how we managed to get into such a mess in the first place. It was substandard ships and lousy flag states that ushered in the age of endless auditing.
But why should shipping that is manifestly not in such a category be ranked alongside and treated by the regulators as indistinguishable from the sub-standard?
Let the inspectors focus on the substandard minority and leave the rest of the industry severely alone.
What about some respect from all those whose business takes them aboard ships and who badly need lessons in civility? We need organisations with the confidence to name names, publish places and institutions which hinder the smooth passage of ships through port and demand changes.
And, if seafarers are to be treated with respect, they had better deserve it and behave in a professional fashion that shows up the bullying officials for what they are. A wretched bunch of casual labourers, terrified for their jobs does not make the best impression.
It is pride and professionalism that make good people go that extra mile, which matters a lot in the operation of ships. They are what keeps ships safe, well maintained, efficient, and their charterers happy. It is a simple consequence of hiring good people and treating them well.
And their absence has contributed much to the ills which diminish this essential industry. It is not rocket science.
Source: www.lloydslist.com


Greece, Malta double taxation avoidance accord
---Greece and Malta on Friday signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation, during a meeting between foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Maltese counterpart Michael Frendo in the coastal town of Lagonissi, near Athens, shortly before the opening of an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU's eight Mediterranean member states.
The double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA), signed on Friday morning, is considered the most important form of economic cooperation between the two countries, and is expected to act as an incentive for the further growth of bilateral economic and commercial relations.
The agreement provides for the double taxation of incomes of natural and legal entities, with auspicious effects for Greek business enterprises, particularly in the shipping sector.
Specifically with regard to the maritime sector, Article 8 of the agreement provides for the "flag criteria", which introduces advantages for Greek-flag merchant marine vessels active in both countries, according to the Greek national economy and finance ministry's director of the International Economic Relations Directorate, George Kounadis.
The accord further determines the extent of the tax authority of the signatore countries, accelerates the curtailment of tax-evasion, ensures a fixed taxation regime, establishes the principle of non-discriminatory treatment and, chiefly, ensures uniform conditions of competition for investors, Kounadis explained.
Double taxation is defined as the levy of taxes on income/capital in the hands of the same taxpayer in more than one country, in respect of the same income or capital for the same period. Double taxation may arise when the jurisdictional connections, used by different countries, overlap or the taxpayer has connections with more than one country.
Source: www.ana.gr, 13 October 2006


Greek Passenger Shippers Suffer from High Fuel Costs
---(12/10/2006) Greek passenger shipping companies have suffered from the higher fuel costs, a development which will be reflected in the gross and operating cost margin, an independent researcher said in a note published Oct 10.
However, higher revenue growth, as 2005 and 2006 were good tourist years, will lend assistance and the overall 9-month earnings performance will be pleasant.
Still, the sector faces problems like the full transport fee market deregulation and the inter-connection of the remote Greek islands beyond the peak tourist season.
Infrastructure projects like the port capacity and services upgrade were noted.
Last year, the Maritime Ministry and the European Investment Bank signed a 25-year Protocol worth EUR3 billion which aims at local port upgrade.
Source: www.energia.gr


World Debut of web-based test of ability in ship management
---Ship managers now have the chance to check their level of competence by using a new test available on the web. Inspired and prepared by Greek professor Alkis Corres, the test is believed to be the first one worldwide on ability in Ship Management.
Access to the demo tests (www.akmo.org) is free. Corres says that by the beginning of November 2006, online training will be possible at the requisite level through access to the databases of questions at a small fee. Marking is effected automatically by the programme, ensuring total impartiality and fairness.
"The multiple choice questions have been designed by experts in their fields and have been vetted for clarity, pertinence and correctness, by a separate team of experts," said Corres, who heads the University of the Aegean's shipping department.
The test presently covers 20 fields of ship management, related to subjects like insurance, chartering, carriage of goods by sea, safety, environmental aspects, legal aspects, technical matters, and so on. In future specialist versions will be available designed to meet the individual requirements of oil and gas carriers.
The test, which has been expertly designed by AKMO ( Ability and Knowledge Metrication Organisation) is available only in English and the taker can see at the end of the test which questions have been answered correctly and which have not, thereby improving his/her understanding.Those who wish to take official tests, which will be followed by formally certified test results, will be organised in groups after the identity of the taker has been ascertained. Corres says: "These certified results not only can be appended to one's CV, but can also be objective third party evidence of professional ability at all levels".
Source: www.newsfront.gr, Issue 38 (13 October 2006) of Newsfront Greek Shipping


Tanker rates set to sink
In the week that ended September 22, US commercial oil reserves grew by 2.6 million barrels to 151.3 million barrels, which is the highest of the last seven years. The following week US crude oil reserves came to 328.1 million barrels, increased by 3.3 million barrels, signifying a 6.7 percent annual rise.
The increased reserves are explained by the lack of major hurricanes, compared with the same period in 2005. At the same time certain refineries have planned maintenance works in September and October, which has limited the US capacity in receiving crude oil for refining.
Nevertheless, no one can be certain about the balance between supply and demand in 2007. Recent reports suggest that next year the volume of new tankers to enter the market will increase by 20 percent, reaching a three-decade peak.
This growth of the global fleet is the consequence of the high number of orders made to shipyards three or four years ago, when the market enjoyed a rising course due to the increased demand for oil. In 2004 alone, shipowners invested about $23 billion for the construction of new ships. The first wave of new ship deliveries will be next year.
Increased demand will naturally put pressure on freight rates, to the extent that demand will not be able to absorb the new vessels fully.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, 9 October 2006 by NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU


DryShips admits heavy FFA loss
Source: www.fairplay.co.uk, Daily News13 Oct 2006


Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. Announces Favorable Long-Term Time Charters
---The time charters, for the Navios Cielo, Navios Orbiter and Navios Sagittarius, have been fixed for approximately 2 years each at rates creating approximately $32.9 million of EBITDA over the charter periods. The details for these vessels and the related charters are set forth below.
Charter Charter Revenue Out Effective Vessel Type Built DWT Daily Rate(1) Period(2) Date Navios Cielo Panamax 2003 75,834 $25,175 2 years 11/14/2006 Navios Orbiter Panamax 2004 76,602 $24,700 2 years 12/31/2006 Navios Sagittarius(3) Panamax 2006 75,500 $25,413 2 years 11/8/2006 (1) Time Charter Revenue Rate per day net of commissions (2) Charter agreements include a redelivery time range of 2 to 4 months (3) Vessel expected to be delivered on November 8, 2006
"We intend to continue to take advantage of strong market conditions," said Ms. Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of Navios. "Even though 73.3% of the available fleet days are fixed for 2007, we have 12 vessels coming open during the course of the year which we will seek to fix at favorable time charters."
Source: http://www.earthtimes.org, PressRelease Posted on : Wed, 11 Oct 2006 12:28:01 GMT | Author : Navios Maritime Holdings Inc.