Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 25 - 2007
---In the past week shipyards in South Korea and China have received orders for 24 ships worth $1.47bn
from Greek shipowners. Not for the first time, Greece's largest owner, John Angelicoussis is leading the way, with his dry bulk arm, Anangel Maritime Services, adding six more bulkers to a bulging ongoing newbuilding programme.
AMS is investing over $400m in two 180,000dwt capesize bulkers at Daewoo S&ME in South Korea and four 114,500dwt bulkers at China's Shanghai Shipyard. AMS' orderbook now stands at 14 capesizes, four aframaxes and four panamax bulkers. The 171,000dwt Anangel Explorer is set for delivery from Daewoo next month.
The new Daewoo ships are to deliver in 2010 and are reportedly costing $85m each. Shanghai are slated for delivery in 2010, two ships and the second pair in 2011. They are costing around $58m each.
Anangel has ships on order at Daewoo Mangalia HI in Romania, STX Shipbuilding in South Korea, SWS in China and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China.
An order for four 180,000dwt bulkers for Chios Navigation has been placed at Hyundai Samho Shipbuilding for delivery in 2010. No price has been given.
Nasdaq-listed Omega Navigation Enterprises (ONE) has contracted five 37,000dwt product tankers at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea at $44.2m a ship. The IMO II/III-type ships are to deliver between March 2010 and early 2011. Omega boss George Kassiotis said it is not only interest in newbuildings and Omega "continues to actively monitor potential accretive opportunities in the secondhand sale-and-purchase market".
LPG specialist Naftomar has ordered two firm and one option 16,500cumtr semi-refrigerated ships at Dayang Shipbuilding in China for an investment of $50m a ship with delivery in 2010.
Phoenix Navigation has gone to Hyundai as it continues to renew its fleet. Two 180,000dwt bulkers have been booked at around $86m each with delivery in 2009 and 2010. Chios Navigation has ordered four 180,000dwt bulkers at Hyundai Samho Shipbuilding for delivery in 2010.
Meanwhile, newbuilding brokers say Trojan Maritime is the owner behind a $192.9m order for four 81,000dwt kamsarmax bulkers announced some weeks back by STX Shipbuilding of South Korea. To be built at STX's new China facility the ships are set for delivery first half of 2010.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 22 June 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 24
Greek takes studied steps
---Shipping boss Dimitri Papadimitriou opens up to TradeWinds on his empire and those who helped shape it.
"Complex" is a word that crops up in relation to Dimitri Papadimitriou, chief executive of Liquimar Tankers and chairman of Dioryx Maritime Corp.
And it appears to be justified.
At 40, Papadimitriou combines the open enthusiasm of a young entrepreneur with the closed caution of an older businessman.
"What I don't like is going down the street and people knowing me. I appreciate that at some point of one's life a little bit of getting out of the shell is not bad but it has to be done with some measure," said Papadimitrou characteristically.
Third parties who decline to be named attach an equally complex set of epithets to Papadimitriou including "academic excellence" and "extreme generosity", adding that he has "confidence in his own abilities [in]contrast with [being]moody and slightly eccentric".
Even the adjoining buildings that house the two companies are a contrast. One is a lovingly restored neoclassical mansion and the other is a super-modern glass-and-metal building.
After finishing high school at Athens College, where at least half the Greek shipping community has been schooled, Papadimitriou went to London, where he got a degree in Industry and Trade at the London School of Economics. He continued with a master's degree at City University under the well-known course run by Professor Costas Grammenos.
"He is very strong academically; without doubt academic curiosity of a very high standard," said Grammenos.
After completing his studies, Papadimitriou remained in London working in the offices of Basil Papachristidis, who, he says, "was very kind to me. I learned a lot".
On the company side, the contrasts are also obvious. Container operator Dioryx carries a history of more than 60 years but Liquimar was founded just 12 years ago and six years after Papadimitriou bought his first tanker with money borrowed from his father.
The Papadimitriou family originated from the Aegean island of Kassos, which has spawned a number of big names in Greek shipping such as Mavroleon, Kulukundis and Rethymnis.
His great grandfather, like many other Kassiots, went to Egypt as a labourer and worked on the construction of the Suez Canal. One of his sons, Papadimitriou's grandfather, started his own small business as an agent in the Suez Canal and even bought his first ships, very small timber carriers.
He fathered 11 children, nine of them surviving adolescence, of whom five were boys. The oldest of those boys, John, was born in 1903 and the youngest, Papadimitriou's father, Nicolas, in 1921.
In 1946, John and Nicolas established DJ Papadimitriou Sons, headquartered in Alexandria with branches in Port Said and Suez. A third brother, George, joined them andduring the war, when Nicolas and George were obliged to serve in the army, the fourth brother, Kanakis, who was involved in growing cotton in Upper Egypt near the border with Sudan, was pulled in to help out.
In 1947, Dioryx, which is the Greek word for "canal", was founded and took over the shipping business of DJ Papadimitriou Sons but not the agency business in Egypt.
But in the 1960s under the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, foreign businesses in Egypt were nationalised and the family lost the agency business and their home and everything else they had there.
All the family members were allowed to leave the country except for Nicolas, who was forced to stay for three years and work as an employee in the company that had been his.
Eventually, in 1965, Nicolas was allowed to leave and went to Greece, where he married. His wife, Despina, is also a second-generation Greek from Egypt.
Industry players describe the senior generation as very conservative. "They are of the old school who put into practice the expression 'my word is my bond'," said one.
With that background, when Papadimitriou virtually took over running the business at under 30, people who know him say he was determined not to mess up.
Not everything had been smooth sailing for Dioryx up to then. Papadimitrou recounts how the company's first venture into newbuildings cost it dear. Three multipurpose heavylift ships were ordered in 1975 in Germany. The contracts were denominated in Deutschmarks (DM) but the value of the DM increased substantially and the company ended up paying 70% more in dollar terms than they had envisaged.
"After getting their fingers burned, I was raised to say only secondhand, no newbuildings," he said.
But Papadimitriou admits he has had his fingers burned a few times.
Those who know him say that on occasions he can put his head down and charge off in a certain direction totally disregarding the advice or views of others.
But the conservative side of his character also comes out clearly as he talks about the businesses. Long-term time-charter coverage for newbuildings to avoid too much exposure is one of the cautious moves he makes.
The Papadimitriou family has been financed by two of the same banks for as long or longer than Dimitri has been alive. Both Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Schiffsbank have been lending to the family for 40 years or more.
Today, Nicolas, 86, is the only surviving brother and not active in the company.
But Papadimitriou says that when he feels he needs moral support, he can run ideas past his father, although he says there has never been any pressure to act in a particular way.
"Even when I came from university and I was 22 years old, he always left me to make my own mistakes," he said.
Whatever those mistakes may have been, Papadimitriou seems to be making an impression. One industry executive said: "He has done an excellent job of building the business up on a very sensible basis."
By Gillian Whittaker, Athens, published: 22 June 2007
NASDAQ celebrations for Greek directed Public companies
---The NASDAQ played host to a number of publicly listed shipping companies at its landmark media and investor centre, The NASDAQ MarketSite, on Broadway in the heart of New York City. The activities at the NASDAQ took place during the 20th annual Marine Money magazine ship finance conference which attracted over 780 shipowners and financiers.
The NASDAQ celebrations kicked off with the Ringing of the Opening Bell by OceanFreight, which went public eight weeks ago. Representatives of Greek and U.S. Shipping Companies later Closed the Market marking a first for the international shipping industry and sending a clear signal of the industry's successful marriage with the New York public capital markets.
Public or Private: A question of vision
Source: 18-06-2007 - http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?id=1
Laskaridis takes control of Minoan
Source: Fairplay Daily News, 19 Jun 2007
Greece fines owners, captain of sunken cruise ship for marine pollution
---By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - The owners, operator and captain of a cruise ship that hit the rocks off the island Santorini and sank were fined a total of US$1.57 million Monday for polluting the Aegean Sea.
The Sea Diamond leaked an estimated 272 tonnes of fuel into the sea since sinking off the island two months ago.
Nearly 1,600 people were evacuated from the Cypriot-owned ship on April 5, but two French tourists are missing and presumed drowned. The Sea Diamond sank the next day, with some 400 tonnes of fuel and lubricants in its tanks.
The ship's owners, Louis Group, operators Louis Cruise Lines and Greek captain Yiannis Marinos were fined for polluting the sea and the coast near the shipwreck and failing to submit a final action plan to pump the remaining fuel from the hulk, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.
A ministry announcement also accused the companies and captain of not monitoring the effect of the pollution on marine life in an environmentally sensitive area.
The ministry added that Santorini port authorities already have imposed additional daily fines of $12,000 on the shipowners for pollution, adding up to some $750,000 in the past two months.
Marinos, 35, and five other crew members are still facing criminal charges of negligence. Greek authorities and Louis Cruise Lines blamed the shipwreck on human error.
A Louis Group spokesman said the company would not comment on the fine for now.
But Michalis Maratheftis defended the company's clean-up efforts, handled by a private Greek contractor.
"Our people are doing an exceptional job," he said. "The area is perfectly clean."
It also adds that:
The successful fighting of the pollution was significantly assisted by the fact that, from the first moment, the owners secured the services of ITOPF, an internationally- acknowledged organization specializing in providing scientific advice to all parties involved in pollution prevention and fighting, as well as of the Greek company Environment Protection Engineering S.A. (EPE), one of the most specialized in Greece, which continues to collect any small quantities of oil which are leaking and carries out continuous clean-up.
Work within the wreck by the use of remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) is not feasible from a technical point of view, the company added.
The Minister was also informed that any attempt to raise or remove the wreck by any method will probably lead to uncontrollable leakage of bunkers with incalculable consequences.
The relevant studies recommend to review the situation in about two months in order to assess whether the measures need to be changed. The company noted that apart from the bunkers and lubricants, there were no other toxic substances on the ship.
In view of all the above, the company will take all necessary action to have the relevant decision cancelled.