Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 07 - 2007
---ATHENS, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Greek shipping fleet had 2,013 vessels with a total tonnage of 34.7 million tons by the end of last year, the National Statistics Service said on Friday.
The statistics service, in a report, said of the total 2,013 vessels, 632 were cargo ships, 467 tankers and 914 passenger ferries.
The report said the Greek shipping fleet recorded a 1.1 percent decline in 2006 from the previous year, reflecting a 0.6 percent increase in cargo vessels, a 5.3 percent rise in total tonnage, a 3.1 percent decline in passenger ships, a 4.7 percent rise in total tonnage of cargo ships and a 0.6 percent rise in tankers.
Source: www.chinaview.cn 2007-02-17 08:37:52
PM confers with merchant marine minister
---Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday received Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis, who briefed the premier on matters falling under the competency of his ministry.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kefaloyiannis said reforms in the sector were heading for completion, while major investments in the country's port facilities were also progressing.
"We are opening up a new page in ocean-going shipping," Kefaloyiannis said in reference to the massive Greek-owned merchant fleet plying the world's seaways.
The minister further announced that five new draft bills would be tabled by his ministry in the coming period, bills that concern the transfer of the maritime shipping services division in the wider Piraeus region, which hosts Greece's largest commercial, container and passenger ports.
"We are optimistic also about new plans being advanced by the ministry," Kefaloyiannis added.
Source: www.ana.gr, Athens News Agency, Greece - Feb 12, 2007
Drapetsona to become international maritime and business hub.
---The former industrial zone of Drapetsona-Keratsini, a vast area of 213 acres, is going to become an international and business hub. The project is expected to open new perspectives of development to the degraded coastline of that region, since it is estimated that the total investment would exceed the amount of 1 billion euros, with hundreds of new employment opportunities to be offered.
The relevant agreement took place this week during the meeting of Hellenic Ministry for Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works headed by Minister Giorgos Souflias and the participation of Manolis Kefalogiannis, Minister of Mercantile Marine, the President of National Bank of Greece and the mayors of Drapetsona and Keratsini.
Mr Souflias stated that the development would proceed by means of self-financing after an international competition of bids, while the building coefficient determined for that area shall be changed to 0.6 from the 2.2 currently in effect.
Both Ministers declared that the much pledged project is going to create one of the best and more important maritime centers contributing to the whole upgrade of Pireaus Port. According to the plan, a series of office buildings aimed to attract maritime and shipping companies are to be created among others.
Mr. Souflias said that is one of the most significant works ever projected not only in Pireaus but also for the rest of Attica region and Mr. Kefalogiannis added that the Government aspires to the success of such plan and he mentioned that the prime Minister has been already informed about the advancement in subject.
Moreover Mr Kefalogiannis referred to the great interest shown by foreign investors.
All involved parties (ministries, municipalities, the National Bank, BP, AGET Heracles, which is a subsidiary of Lafarge Group and other land owners) agreed that the project must go forward and everybody should make the maximum effort to overcome any disagreements that might surface.
Additionally Mr Souflias clarified that no license for refinery will be renewed in the area. The Minister explained that 100 acres out of the total 213 will be outdoors and common areas such as parks, green areas, recreation places etc.
(Source: Maria-Stella Balourdou, Hellenic Shipping News)
Source: 16/02/07: www.hellenicshippingnews.com
Piraeus port needs investment and reform to keep up with rivals
---The port of Piraeus shows 30 percent less productivity than the Mediterranean port average, lagging in competitiveness ahead of the expected fourfold rise of container traffic in the broader region within the next decade.
Port users believe that this lag is due to past mistaken policies that have hampered the investment required, while the steps needed for the modernization of the existing legal framework are not being taken.
Today the port of Piraeus operates at its limit, at 1.5-1.6 million teu (20-foot equivalent units), when other ports have seen their traffic increase by 15-20 percent since they have invested in new infrastructure and responded to the rise in demand. In contrast, in Piraeus, the extension of Dock I, one of the most important projects set to start in 2002, was criminally delayed by three whole years. This has taken Piraeus from the 53rd (in 2003) to the 63rd spot (in 2005) on the global list of container handling.
The new management of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) in cooperation with the Merchant Marine Ministry is trying to create the right economic and political environment to attract foreign investment, which, along with public funds, will modernize the port.
The port also lags behind its Mediterranean rivals in its loading productivity rate by about 30 percent. This stretches the time required to serve vessels, hampering the development of Piraeus as a transit center.
Competition is raging in the eastern Mediterranean, with rival ports increasing their market shares. Most have conceded their container terminals to global port operators, gaining access to capital, an upgrade of infrastructure, increased flow of traffic and therefore high profits.
Source: Date: 2-14-2007, By Nikos Bardounias - Kathimerini,http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=80110
Marfin/Egnatia sees Blue Star Maritime at 4.50 euros
---Marfin Egnatia expects turnover to post a 15.5% decrease in FY:06 on a reduced operating fleet, after the sale of the three Superfast vessels in April and Seajet 2 in March. For the last quarter of the year, the analysts expect a 21% y-o-y decrease in sales, incorporating however the contribution of the newly acquired vessel Diagoras of its Blue Star Maritime subsidiary (which started operations in Dodecanese since August). The Price Target is set at 4.50 euros per share.
The fuel price course during the last months of 2006, which continues during the current year, is encouraging enough since our fuel benchmark prices indicate c.14% reduction q-o-q and c.5% containment on a yearly basis. However we should not expect a major impact in full year performance given that the group has already incorporated a significant burdening in its 9M:06 total operational performance.
Note that following the FY:06 results and given the details on the sale of Superfast X, which finally is not going to be replaced by a new vessel, we are going to adjust our set of results, in order to account for one vessel less operating from 2007 onwards.
Source: 16:27 - 16 February 2007
Diana may set new benchmark with bulker sale
---US-listed but Greek-controlled Diana Shipping may be setting a new benchmark with the sale of its 169,000-dwt bulker Pantelis SP (built 1999).
The ship is said to have gone for $81m to Chang Myung of South Korea.
The deal reportedly includes the balance of a time charter to Sinochart until January to March 2008 at $47,500 per day.
The ship could be locked into a one-year charter at some $65,000 per day in the current market, so it is estimated that in a charter-free position it could have attracted around $87m.
In January, the 170,000-dwt Lowlands Beilun (built 1999) was sold for between $71.5m and $72m with a time charter until May 2010 at $37,400 per day. Cetragpa has recently relet the ship for the remainder of the charter at $50,000 per day. In a charter-free position, the ship could have raised around $85m, market observers say.
The Pantelis SP was the first capesize acquired by Diana and is also its oldest. The ship was bought as the Eric LD in November 2004 for $63m.
Diana still has the 174,000-dwt Sideris GS, purchased for $91m as a newbuilding resale in September and delivered in December.
In mid-June, Diana will take delivery of the 175,000-dwt Semirio, which it bought earlier this month for $98m.
It has two further capesizes on order at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) for delivery in the second quarter 2010. The newbuildings were booked at $60.4m each.
Gillian Whittaker and Trond Lillestolen Athens and Oslo, published: 16 February 2007
Panayotides Looks to Excel with New SPAC
So now Excel, it appears, has created Oceanaut and hired Citigroup and Maxim to raise $150 million in a blank check IPO to create a new company with a broader investor base and the potential to make a rather sizeable investment in any sector of the shipping industry.
Source: Freshly Minted, www.marinemoney.com
Omega set to take $258M plunge into ICE Class Tankers
---Splashing out $129m on a pair of product tanker re-sales, dual-listed Omega Navigation Enterprises,(ONE), is entering the niche panamax ice class market. The two newbuildings of approx 74,000dwtare set to be commissioned from South Korea's STX Shipbuilding at the end of next month and inApril. Options are held on two additional ships scheduled to deliver in the summer.ONE recently handed over the last of its bulk carriers to become a pure product tanker operator.ONE has confirmed the 2004 Onomichi-built 52,808dwt ships supramax bulkers Ekavi Iand ElectraIhave been delivered to their new owners, Croatia's Atlanska Plovidha which paid $82.5m. ONEsaid proceeds of the sale would be used to buy more tanker tonnage and paydown debt.Of the product tanker re-sale, George Kassiotis, president and ceo of Omega, said: "Acquisitionof this new type of vessel offers the company access to the niche panamax ice class market, whichwe believe has significant upside potential, while still offering maximum commercial flexibility."The Piraeus-based Antonis Comninos-backed ONE is paying $64.5m for each ship and purchasewill give the company eight units upon delivery. Named Omega Emmanueland Omega Theodore,ONE is using a combination of internally generated cash and commercial bank debt totaling $60m aunit and a $4.5m warrant issued to the seller, Target Marine of Piraeus, for each ship. The warrants will convert at the higher of $18 a share or the average trading level during the15 days prior to the conversion, minus 8%. The $18 level represents an approx 16% premium tocurrent trading price and a premium to the $17 price of last year's IPO. The acquisitions will be employed on period charters as is the case with the existing fleetwhich are on three-year t/cs. The capacity of ONE's fleet will be lifted to 514,000dwt. Kassiotis said the deal solidifies the company's "position in this market and our status as the onlypure play product tanker company listed on a US exchange". "We also continue to implement ourstrategy of investing in modern, high quality assets, while at the same time increasing shareholdervalue," he added.Meanwhile, investor PMA Capital Management has sold part of its ONE stake. The HongKong-based investor says it has cut its stake from 9.3% (1.1m shares) to 8.73% (1.04m shares).No price was given for the sale, though ONE's shares are trading at around $15.50 a share.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 16 Feb 2007, Vol. 8 / No. 6
EasyCruise Charts A New Course To The Greek Isles
---EasyCruise is charting a new course this summer, taking its no frills concept to the Greek Islands.
After a successful season in the Caribbean, easyCruiseOne will be shipping out to sail the exalted waters of the Aegean sea this summer sailing the Greek Islands. Starting with its final Caribbean cruises, it also adding more polish to its itineraries introducing Greek inspired spa services.
EasyCruise's concept is to sail bright and early, arriving in a new port by late-morning, giving passengers the chance to enjoy both the day and nightlife on land. In addition, passengers can join the cruise where and when they want, subject to a two-night minimum, with a 14-night maximum stay. Airfare is not included.
The Greek Islands itinerary on easyCruiseone sets sail on May 31, 2007 from Athens for $282.00 per person, double occupancy for a ten night vacation in an ocean view cabin. Ask for the code Greece 10. Must book by September 30th. Reservations can be booked at www.easycruise.com or through a travel agent, or by calling 1-650-385-0563.
Source: February 14, 2007, http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=25&aid=66814
Greece to Enter the Global Fuel Transit Market by Year 2011
The tripartite agreement will be signed in Athens in early March following 14 years of intense business and diplomatic negotiations.
Between 35 and 50 tons of crude oil will pass annually through the Black Sea port of Burgas and the Aegean Sea port of Alexandroupolis, having been transported by ship from the Russian port of Novorossiysk across the Black Sea.
Greece stands to benefit from the transit fees and the jobs that will be created during the construction of the pipeline at the port of Alexandroupolis and, indirectly, in the city itself.
The construction of the pipeline has been the result of persistent efforts by consecutive Greek governments and, especially recently, the haste shown by the Russians for implementation of the project.
This haste from Russia had been predicted 14 years ago by the man who conceived the project, the late Nikos Grigoriadis, a close adviser to the late shipping tycoon Yiannis Latsis.
Grigoriadis had foreseen the rise in global demand for oil and the need for new ways to transport oil to major consumers, ways that would be more secure and reliable and, at the same time, not threatening the existing strategic balance of forces.
Traffic through the Bosporus has reached near-saturation levels and there are long delays, imposing additional costs on tankers and increasing the chance for accidents that may cause environmental disasters.
With the signing of the tripartite agreement in Athens, the way opens for the consortium of Russian, Kazakh, Bulgarian and Greek companies to start work on the pipeline, most likely in 2008. Oil is expected to flow sometime in 2011.
Source: (12/02/2007) By Chryssa Liaggou, http://www.energia.gr/indexengr.php?newsid=13147&page=1&lang=en
George Kourakos, a man ahead of his time
---WELL known shipping industry figure Captain George Kourakos died on February 5, aged 67, writes David Randall.
George Kourakos was born in the Peloponnese, the son of a sea captain in the Greek merchant marine. He came to England to complete his pre-sea training at the School of Navigation, Southampton, now Warsash Maritime Academy, and this was followed by national service in the Hellenic Navy.
He served as a deck officer with the Niarchos Shipping Company and was always proud of the fact that he was for a time in command of the Niarchos private yacht Creole.
On leaving the sea he continued in shipping. He was a consultant to the Livas Shipping Company and for many years the company secretary of Oinoussian Maritime, representing it in London. He also ran his own company, Premier Shipping Services, which along with other activities was significantly involved in the bunkering trade.
His enthusiasm for maritime affairs extended well beyond his commercial interests. He played a leading role in establishing the Warsash Association after the former Old Cadets Association became defunct.
George worked tirelessly to recruit many former cadets, students and staff into the new organisation, eventually serving as chairman.
During that time he also organised visits to Greece to promote Warsash as a centre of excellence in the maritime community.
The London branch of the Propeller Club of the United States also owes a great deal to his enthusiasm and his persuasive ability to get things done. He played a pivotal role in the organisation and used his extensive network of shipping contacts to promote the club in the London maritime community.
He was the immediate past president and a governor of the London branch. He often, sometimes at his own expense, represented the London Propeller Club at the annual conference of the parent body in the US and also at meetings of various European port member clubs.
George had such a huge capacity for love and sharing that he never grew tired of life, even when life grew tired of him. He was remarkably courageous until the last and during his short stay in hospital made friends with everyone from consultants to cleaners.
George is survived by his wife Candy and his son Anthony. His conviviality, companionship and warmth will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
David Randall is honorary secretary of London branch of the Propeller Club.
Source: www.lloydslist.com, Tuesday 13 February 2007
Compensation sought for fishermen
---By Jamal Khurshid
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday admitted for regular hearing the petition seeking Rs393 million monetary compensation per month for the fishermen of Karachi who were affected owing to oil spillage from the Greece-registered m.v. Tasman Spirit that capsized in August 2003.
The petitioners - former MPA Abdul Qadir Patel, All Sindh Fishermen Welfare Association, Anjuman All Kucthi Muslim Ittehad (Sindh), Kuchti Muslim Baba Bhadla Jamaat and Passenger Motor Launch Owners Association - submitted that thousands of fishermen who used to earn their livelihood on daily basis from the sea have been denied their fundamental rights due to the negligence of Karachi Port Trust, Tasman Spirit crew and other government departments concerned.
Ministry of Communication, Director General Ports and Shipping, Karachi Port Trust, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Pakistan Environment Protection Agency, Sindh government and M/s Assimina Maritime, owner of Tasman Spirit, have been named as respondents in the petition.
He said the respondents have committed negligence and failed to perform their statutory duties as the salvaging operation was started after considerable delay, causing oil spillage, which tantamount to violating the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act-2001 on the part of the respondents.
The counsel further alleged that without adopting environment-friendly policies, the KPT, in the past, encroached upon mangroves swamps along China Creek adjoining Mai Kolachi bypass in order to allot plots for housing to make windfall profits despite numerous warnings issued by various local and foreign experts with regard to damaging mangroves but no steps were taken to safeguard this natural asset.
He said the respondents by their negligence caused irreparable damage to fisheries industry and seafood exports, depriving the country from foreign exchange as well as rendering more than 0.2 million fishermen jobless and depriving them of their traditional source of livelihood. Under the tenets of law and equity, the poor fishermen were entitled to be given monetary compensation, he added.
The court was prayed to direct the respondents to jointly or severally pay monetary compensation of Rs393 million per month to fishermen w.e.f August 2003 till the time fishing in the sea adjacent to Karachi coasts becomes normal and permissible as well as taking immediate steps to protect mangroves, marine life and sea environment around the coastal area with the direction to taking permanent measures to avoid similar environmental hazards in future.
The petition also prayed for directing the respondents to produce correct information regarding health hazards caused by oil spillage and providing free health care facilities to fishermen and their families, besides the government should place before the court the enquiry reports prepared by the government departments concerned.
A criminal case against the crew of m.v Tasman Spirit was registered on September 4, 2003, by Docks police station in Karachi and they were booked for oil spillage, causing loss to marine life due to their negligence.