Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 05 - 2007
---Date: 2-3-2007, Author : Nikos Bardounias - Kathimerini
Spending on new ships exceeds $1 billion in January; 2006 total at $23.7 bln
Greek shipowners have set their course toward an even greater capacity for their fleet in 2007, having made investments of $1.05 billion for the purchase of 31 ships in January 2007 alone. In the same period the total investment on a global level reached $2.78 billion for the sale and acquisition of 152 vessels.
During 2006, Greek shipowners spent $23.7 billion to strengthen their fleets, which today has a total capacity of 190 million gross tonnage (gt).
According to data from the weekly report of Allied Shipbroking Inc, the transaction market share of Greek shipowners comes to 37.7 percent, with a preference in the dry-bulk market, as in the next few years the demand for shipping dry cargo is expected to rise significantly. Out of the 83 bulkers to have changed hands, 26 ended up in companies of Greek interests, with a total value of $921.7 million. Greek shipowners have also acquired five tankers that cost $133.1 million.
Trailing the Greeks are the Koreans with investments of $290 million for 12 ships, the Norwegians with $220 million for 10 ships, the Germans with $174 million, the Indians with $123 million and the Chinese with $96.5 million.
Data from the George Moundreas & Co shipbroking firm show that during 2006 Greek shipowners proceeded to orders for the construction of 322 ships of all types, to a total value of $16.64 billion. They consist of 221 tankers, 74 dry-bulkers, 15 container ships and 12 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers.
As far as the 221 tankers are concerned, they are 17 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), 33 suezmax vessels, 48 aframax, 18 panamax, 69 MP and 36 oil-product and chemicals carriers. The 74 bulk carriers consist of 13 capesize, 25 post-panamax, eight panamax, 25 supramax and three handies.
Tsakos in $14M share distribution to group staff
---The Tsakos Group has distributed some $14m worth of its shares in New York-listed Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) to group employees, including seafarers. The current share price is around $45 a share and 100,000 shares are earmarked for seagoing staff.
The distribution was revealed at the Tsakos group's Vasalopitta cutting ceremony in its Nea Smyrni, Athens hqs, January 26. The share handout came at the end of what Nicos Tsakos, chairman and ceo of TEN, described "as a very good year for the group" with "TEN expecting 2006 to be a record year in terms of profits".
The distribution underlines the group's commitment to its staff. Group founder, Panayiotis Tsakos, spoke of the great need to bring new people into the profession, "otherwise Greek shipping will not be Greek any longer". Captain Tsakos said that after 50 years of experience he did not believe shipping was in danger because of a poor charter market, but rather a lack of Greek seafarers was costing "shipping its Greek tradition".
He said: "To now Greek human resources have driven Greek shipping and the survival of Greek shipping depends on whether the number of Greek seafarers is increased or decreased."
Currently the Tsakos group has 85 vessels, 62 tankers, 14 container ships, eight bulk carriers and an LNG carrier. In 2007, TEN, which has 37 tankers, will take delivery of 11 newbuildings, 10 tankers and an LNG ship. Many of these ships are ice-class, making TEN one of the world's largest operators of a diversified ice-class fleet.
Meanwhile, TEN is said to be in discussions with Qatargas as it seeks employment for the soon to be delivered 73,800dwt LNG carrier. Vlad Jadro, Chief Marine Officer of TEN, recently said: "We are talking to some firms in Qatar but cannot disclose the nature of the negotiations. But there is always the probability we will be providing carriers to companies here."
Jadro also indicated the New York-listed company's management is considering a deeper move into the LNG carrier business, possibly through entering into jvs with bigger players in the industry.
The ship set to deliver from Hyundai HI, in South Korea is a one-off contract.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 2 February 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 4
Hellenic Shipyards files EU complaint against rival Neorion over unfair competition
---Greece's Hellenic Shipyards, a fully owned subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, said it has filed a complaint with the European Commission against alleged unfair competition by Greece's Neorion Shipyards. Hellenic, which was acquired by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in 2005, said the complaint refers to millions of euros in Greek state subsidies its competitor allegedly received, dating back to 1997 when it Neorion was privatised and even prior to this. Hellenic's complaint relates to the rival shipyard's sale price, the cost of compensation for job losses when it was privatised, the cost of an early retirement scheme in 1995 and the terms of loans it got from state-controlled banks that were guaranteed by the Greek state. "For us the issue is distortion of competition," said Hellenic Chief Executive Reinhard Kuhlmann, also a member of the board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. "We want a level playing field." "Our main priority is to have healthy competition in Greece as prescribed by EU law. We are ready and willing to cooperate with all parties involved towards this aim," Kuhlmann said. Hellenic is seeking to finalise a contract to build state-of-the-art submarines for the Greek navy.
Source: New Ships Newsletter, No 6/5 February 2007
Supras all Greek
---Greek supramax owner Navios secured a voyage charter for one of its units at above $40,000 daily on a day which saw mixed fortunes for Greeks in the market segment.
Capesizes also had an up-and-down day as continuing softness in the Far East-Australia trade was offset slightly by a strong rate achieved in the Atlantic.
Atlantic activity was also uppermost amongst panamaxes with Cargill in particular stepping up to the plate. A couple of short time charters were hammered out while a Dalnave Navigation 24-year-old attracted almost $30,000 per day for a whole year.
By contrast Pacific Bulk is only paying $56,000 daily to take the 172,400-dwt Nightwhisper (built 1985) from China to Australia and back while SK Shipping is paying just $47,500-dwt for a trip from China to Europe via the Med with the 151,000-dwt Cape Merlin (built 1994).
BHP Billiton and Bunge both took 2001-builds for between four and six months from the Far East, the former paying $34,500 per day for the 74,300-dwt Hephaestus and the latter getting the 75,100-dwt Avra for $500 a day less.
Three units were fixed for roundtrips between the UK and Colombia, two from Swiss Marine and one from Cargill. The former got the 76,300-dwt Crest Voyager (built 2005) for $33,000 per day and the 73,400-dwt Zagora (built 2001) for $32,500 daily. Cargill paid $35,000 daily for the 77,400-dwt Fortune Clover (built 2006).
Cargill also took the 76,000-dwt Eleni (built 2005) for a roundtrip from Europe to the US Gulf at $33,000 per day and the 69,100-dwt Rainkiss (built 1996) for the single voyage across from the US Gulf at $31,000 with a ballast bonus of $600,000.
Swiss Marine also ensured a profitable day for Clipper which relet the 71,300-dwt Maratha Messenger to the charterer at $33,000 per day having taken the ship in August for a year at $10,000 a day less.
Oldendorff drove the rate down to $24,000 per day by taking the 41,000-dwt Balgarka (built 2004) for two months on spot from China.
A comparatively basement rate of $16,000 per day is all United Ocean Ship Management could attract for its 45,700-dwt Global Glory (built 1998) for a trip from the Black Sea to the US Gulf in early February.
By Eoin O'Cinneide in London, published: 13:56 GMT, 29 January 2007 | last updated: 13:56 GMT, 29 January 2007
Melissa takes first Yardimci cement carrier
The 10,000 dwt pneumatic cement carrier was delayed by more than one year from Turkish contracting shipbuilder Yardimci.
The shipbuilder is expected to deliver two further Melissa orders, for cement carriers of 6,600 tonnes capacity, later this year.
Lafarge Group will have commercial control of the vessels, which will initially be dedicated to Mediterranean distribution of products from 53% owned Lafarge Greek subsidiary Heracles General Cement. Heracles operates three plants on the east coast of Greece with a production capacity of about 10m tonnes annually.
The Xylas Group formed Melissa to take over three pneumatic cement carriers from Heracles in 2003, together with staff and other aspects of the operation after Lafarge decided to outsource the shipping of cement products.
The Turkish-built additions to the fleet are said to be state-of-the-art and designed to meet draft and air-draft restrictions in Greek ports.
Source: By Nigel Lowry in Athens - Monday 29 January 2007
Two Vessel Corporations Plead Guilty, Are Sentenced for Illegal Dumping
---by SOPnewswire, Posted January 30, 2007
Engine room operations on board large oceangoing vessels such as the Irene generate large amounts of waste oil. International and U.S. law prohibit the discharge of waste oil without treatment by an oil water separator. The law also requires that all overboard discharges be recorded in an oil record book, a required log which is regularly inspected by the Coast Guard.
As part of the plea agreement, the corporations will pay a combined penalty of $1.25 million, $250,000 of which will be dedicated to a marine-based environmental enhancement community service project on the Delaware Bay.
ENRD (202) 514-2007, TDD (202) 514-1888
Greece to host unique Bunker Summit
---Bunkerworld and Petrospot (publisher of Bunkerspot) are delighted to announce they will coordinate their efforts to deliver a unique four-day Bunker Summit in Athens on May 8-11.
Held at the Athenaeum InterContinental, Athens, the Bunker Summit: Greece 2007 is a ground breaking four-day event, which offers a strong mix of conferencing, networking, training and workshops.
Bunkerworld has gained a reputation for providing timely, topic-led events with noted successes with events in Copenhagen and New York in 2006; Marine Fuel Sustainability and Squeezing the Bunker Barrel respectively. Petrospot has gained a strong reputation for providing high-level training courses, such as the well-known Oxford Bunker Course.
The Bunkerworld Forum: Mediterranean and Black Sea (May 10-11) will once again aim to combine a fresh blend of expert speakers and real issues; this time focusing on the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.
Preceding the forum, Petrospot is offering two advanced-level one-day workshops: The Practical, Technical & Legal Aspects of Bunkering, led by Chris Fisher, co-author of the best-selling book Bunkers; and Emissions from Ships: Dealing with a New Environment, led by independent consultant, Robin Meech.
Petrospot is also offering its one-day Bunker Arbitration Experience, a sophisticated training tool for bunker buyers, suppliers and maritime lawyers that has been performed to great acclaim in New York, Panama and Hamburg.
Realising the need for user-specific training and conferencing, Bunkerworld and Petrospot have come together to create a single, more effective single event.
Both companies see this as a perfect opportunity to work together to meet the needs of the local bunkering and shipping community, both in Greece and further afield.
Alisdair Pettigrew, Director of Petromedia Ltd., owners of Bunkerworld, commented: "Combining the conferencing reputation that Bunkerworld has built-up over the past two years with Petrospot's expertise in training sets the Bunker Summit apart from other events in the marine fuels sector.
"The summit will provide all aspects of knowledge tools required to perform in the modern bunker market."
For more information please visit: www.bunkerworld.com/greece2007
Source: http://www.portworld.com, 01 Feb 2007, 16:08 GMT
EU unfazed by Putin's 'gas OPEC' idea
---01.02.2007 - 17:43 CET | By Andrew Rettman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia is flirting with plans for an OPEC-type gas suppliers' club president Vladimir Putin said in his annual "question time" TV show on Thursday (1 February), but Brussels and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are unfazed by the prospect.
"A 'gas OPEC' is an interesting idea. We will think about it," Mr Putin said. "We agree with Iranian experts, partners and some other countries that produce and supply hydrocarbons to world markets in large volumes. We are already trying to coordinate our actions to develop markets."
In a confusing aside, he added that any gas club would not be a price-fixing "cartel." But one of the primary functions of OPEC - the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - is to control the supply and price of Middle East oil in the face of powerful buyers such as the EU and the US.
Mr Putin's statement comes days after Russian officials held gas talks in Algeria and Iran, with another trip to Qatar scheduled for 12 February. Russia has the world's biggest gas reserves and supplies 25 percent of EU gas. Algeria supplies 10 percent, while Iran and Qatar hold the world's second and third largest reserves, respectively.
"It's hard to say what he's thinking. If I could read Mr Putin's mind I would be a rich man," a European Commission spokesman said. "We understand he's not interested in a cartel, which would not be good for anybody. If you create a cartel, you could put at risk the security of demand."
The EU official said "lack of transparency" on Russian gas strategy is a bigger headache for the EU than any talks with Algeria, echoing complaints by Germany, Poland and the IEA about the lack of information surrounding Russia's oil and gas dispute with Belarus in January.
The European Commission believes any gas OPEC would be fundamentally different from the existing oil cartel, with suppliers potentially able to strike deals on when to start production on new gas fields in the long-term, but unable to manipulate the day-to-day flow of gas.
The vast majority of EU gas imports are delivered by fixed pipelines on a bilateral basis, unlike the more flexible oil tankers; gas is more expensive than oil to store and is usually delivered immediately or burned; new coal and nuclear power plants could replace gas if needed in the medium-term.
But on top of all this, the gas suppliers' gang is a much more disparate group than the Middle East-dominated OPEC: Algeria has little common history with Russia; Iran currently exports almost no gas to anybody and Qatar is doing very well for itself shipping liquid gas to the US.
"On the supply side, you would have to have a group of very good friends that trust each other implicitly," IEA gas expert Daniel Simmons said, in reference to a scenario where Algeria's Sonatrach does a deal with Gazprom not to develop a new Algerian field in lieu of rents from a Russian field.
New pipeline to bypass tricky Belarus and Ukraine
Mr Putin's TV address also outlined plans to build a new gas pipeline - Blue Stream-2 - under the Black Sea to Turkey and then Hungary, Austria and Italy, in a bid to build direct gas links to Europe that bypass tricky transit partners such as Belarus and Ukraine.
But he warned Bulgaria and Greece that they need to quickly resolve a dispute on which firms should own a 49 percent stake in a new oil pipeline via Burgas and Alexandroupolis or "lose an opportunity to become transit countries of hydrocarbons from Russia and the Caspian Sea regions to Europe."
The Russian leader made clear he is building new pipelines to the Far East to diversify his options at the same time the EU is planning to diversify its supply routes. "We are not worried about it [EU diversification] because we are in turn diversifying ways of piping energy to end customers in various markets," Mr Putin said.