Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 18 - 2007

 

Container terminal in southern Creta needs $1 billion funding

Source: 05-05-2007 - Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News


The Mouse that Roared
Following a split in the Tsangaris family business in 2005, Anemi was formed and immediately took over three panamax vessels that were quickly sold. Subsequently, they purchased four modern supra-max vessels, which were to form the basis of a rather interesting financing put together by BTMU Capital Corporation.
BTMU Capital refinanced the existing fleet of four vessels with the objective of making funds available for the initial deposits for the six 53,000 DWT newbuildings. To accomplish this BTMU Capital underwrote and arranged a structure in three tranches consisting of senior debt, placed with HSH Nordbank, a subordinated tranche ?and a third position bridge tranche. The bottom two tranches were committed by BTMU Capital and were available for newbuild deposits and construction draws with the deposits themselves and shipbuilding contracts, in fact, securing the bridge tranche.
From our perspective, the financing was largely made possible by the arbitrage resulting from the difference in prices between newbuild-ings and modern on the water vessels. Current newbuilding prices for supramax bulkers are in the range of $35 million versus $40-45 million for a three to five year old version. In round numbers the existing fleet is worth $160 million (using the low-end) against which the company had to raise sufficient leverage to re-finance the existing debt as well as $42 million ($35 million x 20% x 6) for the newbuilding deposits and potential construction draws. There would appear to be sufficient value in the existing fleet itself no less the equity value inherent in the contracts themselves given the rela-tively near term deliveries to provide sufficient cushion for this level of gearing.
?We thought this to be an innovative use of market created equity to build a substantive fleet and can visualize the concept rolling forward with the delivery of the six vessels. We congratulate BTMU Capital on investing through the capital structure to provide this innovative financing solution.
Source: Freshly Minted by www.marinemoney.com


Cash-Rich Genmar is getting ready to pounce
---General Maritime is on the prowl as it looks to "purchase assets of up to $1bn in market value".
Chairman and ceo Peter Georgiopoulos told investors May 2 the tanker company "is in a strong position to enter into future value-creating transactions".
While GenMar reported lower quarterly results on a smaller fleet, vessel-sale gains last year and decreased rates, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company's boss said it "[intends] to focus on exploring areas where we have been successful in the past in an effort to continue to post strong returns for shareholders".
The company still has $400m liquidity remaining after a special dividend payout, the latest quarterly results are down with net income at $16.7m on voyage revenues of $68.2m, well below net income of $84.4m on revenues of $105.8m in first quarter 2006, when earnings were driven by a $35.3m gain on the sale of nine aframax OBOs. Further, this time the smaller fleet experienced a drop in average TCE, especially in the spot sector, where ships saw a 22% fall, from $48,000 a day to $37,600 a day.
GenMar owns 10 aframax and nine suezmax tankers in the water plus two suezmaxes under construction. Half the aframaxes and one suezmax work spot, thus GenMar has insulated itself from spot rates by raising t/c coverage to 68% in the first three months of 2007.
Georgiopoulos said GenMar also plans to continue buying back stock and paying $0.50 as the first installment under the new fixed-dividend policy. The company statement said general and administrative expenses in the first quarter were higher by $1.3m.
"Our success at signing three additional vessels to three-year time charters during the first quarter and increasing our time-charter coverage to 68% further strengthens our position to provide shareholders with a sizable fixed dividend going forward," said Georgiopoulos.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 4 May 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 17


Kollakis emerges as Chiquita buyer
---Chartworld and Eastwind confirm they have acquired a fleet of reefers and boxships.
Chartworld Shipping of Greece and New York-based Eastwind Maritime are the new owners of banana giant Chiquita's 12-strong Great White Fleet (GWF). All the ships will be commercially controlled by new reefer entity Seven Hills, which was formed by Eastwind and NYK-LauritzenCool.
Chartworld, controlled by Greek shipowner Lou Kollakis, confirms it is the buyer of GWF's eight reefers but would not comment any further on the details of its purchase.
Eastwind also confirms it is the buyer of the remaining four containerships.
Chiquita announced the sale of the reefers earlier this week for a total of $227m. Details of the price breakdown and the new ownership scheme remain undisclosed.
TradeWinds had reported last week that Eastwind and NYK-LauritzenCool were the last candidates for the deal.
Chartworld has bought six 645,000-cbf ships built between 1991 and 1992 and two 589,600-cbf reefers built in 1992 and 1993. Eastwind has taken the three 950,000-teu containerships built between 1990 and 1992 and one 580-teu boxship built in 1983.
Seven Hills will in effect take over Chiquita's shipping operation, not including the logistics operation, and stands to benefitfrom the banana trader's transport requirements.
Chiquita has chartered back all 12 ships from newly formed Seven Hills at undisclosed rates. The 1983-built containership is chartered back for a period of three years, with the option to extend for another two years. The remaining 11 reefers have been chartered for seven years with options for an additional five years.
Eastwind executive John Kousis says Seven Hills also holds first right of refusal on Chiquita's extra long-term contracts and its spot requirements.
Chiquita has announced that it is set to charter in an additional seven reefers for 2008. Brokers estimate that Chiquita's spot requirements for 2007 alone will exceed last year's 80 spot sailings.
The new chartering arrangement claims a long-standing co-operation between Seatrade and GWF. Seatrade has five reefers on long-term charters with GWF that will be concluded by the end of this year. All reefers are earning a reported $0.84 per cbf, which translates to around $15,000 per day for three of these and $16,300 per cbf for the remaining two. Seatrade has also been a core provider of Chiquita's extra spot requirements, especially in the past few years.
Chiquita has retained ownership of its logistics operation, which had been earmarked for purchase by NYK-LauritzenCool's logistics arm. This includes a lucrative back-haul operation between the US and South America and Europe and ownership and operation of over 10,000 container boxes.
Kousis says that while Chiquita still owns its logistics arm, Seven Hills will act to "enhance" the earnings of this operation to meet higher profit margins.
Eastwind executive Don Simmons adds that Chiquita will source advice on its transport needs from Seven Hills on both technical and commercial matters. For the next few years, Simmons says, efforts will concentrate on helping Chiquita organise its shipping activity to reach higher efficiency levels.
A decision has yet to be announced on whether Seven Hills will retain personnel working in Chiquita's Antwerp office. Chiquita has indicated its staff will either be relocated or compensated.
Yiota Gousas Athens, published: 04 May 2007
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Excel Maritime & Quintana Maritime to presenters at Bear Stearns 2007 Conference
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ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 04, 2007 -- 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 Mr. Christopher Georgakis, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, will be presenting at the Bear Stearns 2007 Global Transportation Conference to be held at the Bear Stearns World Headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at 10:30 A.M. EDT.
The PDF version of the Presentation will be available as of that day on the website of Excel Maritime at www.excelmaritime.com at the Investor Relations section under presentations.
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ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 04, 2007 -- Quintana Maritime Limited (NASDAQ: QMAR), a leading international provider of dry bulk transportation services, announced today that Stamatis Molaris, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, will be presenting at the Bear Stearns Global Transportation Conference to be held in New York on Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 10:30 am EDT.
A live audio webcast of Quintana's presentation will be available for a period of 60 days along with a PDF version of the slide presentation will be available on the Quintana Maritime corporate website at www.quintanamaritime.com in the Investor Relations section
Source: press releases


Diana Shipping Inc. Announces Delivery of Capesize Bulk Carrier
ATHENS, Greece, May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diana Shipping Inc. , a global shipping transportation company specializing in dry bulk cargoes, today announced that the Company has taken delivery of the 180,235 dwt Capesize dry bulk carrier, to be renamed
As previously announced, the Company has entered into a time charter contract with Cargill International S.A. for the Aliki for a minimum 46 to maximum 49 month period at an average rate of $48,500 per day. During the first two years of the charter the gross daily charter hire rate will be $52,000 and during the third and fourth years of the charter $45,000. The charterer has the option to employ the vessel for a further 11 to 13 month period at a daily charter rate of $48,500. The charter commenced on May 1, 2006.
During the initial four years, this employment is expected to generate gross revenues of approximately $69 million. If the charterer exercises its option for the fifth year, the charter is expected to generate aggregate gross revenues of approximately $86 million over the entire period.
About the Company
Diana Shipping Inc. is a global provider of shipping transportation services. The Company specializes in transporting dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.
Source: Posted : Tue, 01 May 2007 11:28:00 GMT , http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,97670.shtml, Author : Diana Shipping Inc.


Tsakos takes delivery of two ships from Hyundai shipyards
---Tankers ANTARCTIC and AEGEAS delivered
3 May 2007. Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. today announced the delivery of the 162,400 dwt, 1A ice-class tanker Suezmax tanker Antarctic from Hyundai Heavy Industries and the 36,660 dwt 1A ice-class handysize product tanker Aegeas from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, both in South Korea.
The Aegeas will enter an attractive three year time-charter with a major international oil entity for a fixed minimum rate and a 50/50 profit share should rates exceed that minimum. Taking into account only the minimum rate, the Aegeas is expected to generate about $21 million in gross revenues over the charter period. The Antarctic has entered a repositioning voyage until the beginning of June and, upon expiration, it is expected to enter the spot market.
Source: 3 May 2007, http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item535_tsakos.htm


Quintana Maritime Agree to Purchase 4 Capesize Newbuildings
---ATHENS, GREECE -- May 01, 2007 -- Quintana Maritime Limited (NASDAQ: QMAR) announced today that it has agreed to purchase four 180,000 deadweight-ton (dwt) Capesize vessels, through a joint venture with AMCI Cape Holdings LLC ("AMCIC"), an affiliate of Hans Mende, who is a member of Quintana's Board of Directors. The vessels are being built at Korea Shipyard Co., Ltd., a new South Korean shipyard, with delivery expected from May to August of 2010. The contract cost of the four vessels is $310.8 million.
Quintana expects to nominate shipowning companies in which it will own a 50% interest to purchase the vessels, and the remaining 50% will be owned by AMCIC. The Company will pay approximately $31.1 million, $46.7 million and $77.7 million in 2007, 2009, and 2010, respectively, and will control 50% of the shipowning companies. Stamatis Molaris, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quintana Maritime, commented, "Through the joint-venture structure, the Company will minimize cash flow dilution during the vessels' construction period without stretching its balance sheet's ability to deliver profitable growth. We are very pleased to have concluded this joint venture with AMCIC."
The Company will collect, from April 27, 2007 until the delivery of the vessel, $60,000 per annum per ship from AMCIC as management fees for supervising the construction of the vessels. Upon delivery, the Company will manage the ships on behalf of the joint venture, and the shipowning companies will pay QMAR a management fee based on the Company's budgeted management costs, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances.
The Company's Conflicts Committee, which comprises three of the Company's independent, non-executive directors, has approved the transaction.
The Company has secured five-year charters for two of the vessels from their delivery at a net daily average floor rate of approximately $27,720, with 50% profit sharing above the floor rate (based on the monthly AV4 BCI average, as published by the Baltic Exchange) with EDF Trading, a wholly owned subsidiary of EDF, one of the largest utility companies in Europe. EDF trades on Euronext under the ticker "EDF."
Stamatis Molaris, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quintana Maritime, commented, "We are very pleased to have concluded our current expansion in the Capesize sector through the new building market by signing the last four contracts at attractive prices. We have increased the Company's presence in the Capesize sector to 12 ships, including the four ships currently trading. Upon delivery of all new buildings we will operate one of the most modern cape fleets in the dry bulk industry." He further commented, "We are also welcoming the growing relationship with one of the major users of commodities in Europe, EDF. Our charters with EDF will generate in excess of $240 million over the life of the charters, assuming only the average net floor rate. We believe that we have further enhanced the earnings and return for our shareholders by ensuring that 2010 will be another year of strong returns and profitability. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with this particular investment grade customer. The particular structure of the time charter contract insulates our shareholders from downside market risk but provides significant cash flow upside potential in the active Capesize sector."
Source: http://www.quintanamaritime.com


Wartsila wins orders for ship propellers from Vietnam's Vinashin
---HELSINKI (Thomson Financial) - Wartsila said it has won orders for several ship propulsion systems for vessels being built by Vinashin, the Vietnamese shipbuilder, but did not disclose their value.
Under a contract signed with Vinashin last month, the Finnish engineering group will provide propulsion systems for five chemical tankers due to be delivered to Greece's Iason Hellenic Shipping Co Ltd over 2008-2010.
Wartsila said it has also agreed to supply propellers and related machinery for eight car carriers Vinashin is building for Israel's Ray Car Carriers Ltd.
Vinashin will begin deliveries of those vessels from September next year.
Source: http://www.hemscott.com/news/latest-news/item.do?newsId=42494406795633


Korean firm starts building RP-made ship
The First Steel Cutting Ceremony was held at the newly built HHIC-PI shipyard at the Redondo Peninsula.
"It is our pleasure to host the first steel cutting ceremony for the construction of a new 4,300 TEU container ship here in Subic Bay. It is really a historic moment for our Subic shipyard," said HHIC-Phils. president and HHIC regional director Jeong Sup Shim.
The HHIC-PI constructed the shipyard complex inside a 480-hectare area in the peninsula with a committed investment of $1 billion. The venture is expected to create job opportunities for approximately 30,000 direct and indirect employees.
The ceremony was graced by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga, SBMA administrator and chief executive officer Armand Arreza, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Peter Favila, Subic-Clark Alliance and Development (SCAD) Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan, and HHIP chairman Nam Ho Cho.
"In less than 14 months after the signing of at memorandum of agreement for the construction of the shipyard, we will be witnessing the ceremonial switch-on of the first steel-cutting machine, which formally begins the steel cutting process for the very first vessel they will produce here," said Arreza.
Already lined-up for production are six units of 4,300 TEU container ships to be delivered to Diorxy Maritime Corp. in Greece in 2009. The second production line will build six 4,300 TEU ships intended for NSC Schiffartsgeselhaft of Germany.
Representatives of top shipping firms such as Diorxy Maritime Corp., NSC Schiffartsgeselhaft, Kaptanoglu Shipping, Maersk, also witnessed the ceremony.
"This is to reiterate our commitment to Hanjin in making sure that endeavors here in Subic Bay Freeport become successful and that all projects and ships constructed here are completed in a timely manner," Arreza said.
Some 4,000 persons have already been employed by the company during the pre-operation and construction phase. The start of shipbuilding operations will likewise create indirect employment to an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Source: By BEBOT SISON JR., The Philippine Star , http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=74453


Municipality of Thessaloniki Creates History at the 2007 Hermes Expo
Photo 1- Marcos Arvanitis holding his unique street sign of Kolokotronis with fellow Arcadians (left to right) Rev. Paul Panos and Rev. Anargyros Stavropoulos, Chancellor of the New jersey Archdiocese.
Photo 2- Themis Kartsiotis, CEO of Helexpo, addressing the audience as Paul Kotrotsios looks on.
Photo 3- Journalist Christos Nikolaidis (left to right) with fellow delegate Georgios Arvanitidis in front of their exhibit of Thessaloniki.
Photo 4- The writer with Ted G. Spyropoulos, SAE USA Regional Coordinator.
Source: By Catherine Tsounis, http://www.hellenicnews.com/readnews.html?newsid=6713&lang=US