Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 29 - 2007

 

Ship capacity grows at a rapid rate in year 2007

In May of 2007, the Greek fleet numbered 2,025 vessels, with a total capacity of 35,609,983 register tons against 31,595,941 in December 2006. NSS data also show that of the 2,025 ships, 630 are dry-bulk carriers and 911 are passenger carriers and other vessels. This growth is attributed to the measures the Merchant Marine Ministry recently took to boost the competitiveness of the Greek register.
In the period from January 2001 to May 2007, there was a 2.9 percent rise in ship numbers and an increase of 30.3 percent in total capacity. Dry-bulkers have increased by 0.8 percent and their capacity by 19.8 percent. Tankers have increased by 5.9 percent, with their capacity growing by 40 percent. Passenger carriers and other ships increased by 2.9 percent and their capacity rose by 21.9 percent.
Shipping foreign currency inflows grew by 295 million euros in the first months of the year compared with the same period in 2006. It reached 4,914.2 million euros, from 4,618.3 million euros last year. The growth was greater in April, with inflows reaching 1,254.8 million euros, against 1,070.4 million euros in April 2006. Bank of Greece data confirm that inflows came to 14,324.7 million euros in 2006, from 13,871.4 million euros in 2005.
The steady growth of shipping foreign currency inflows began in 2000, when, according to data from the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE), they reached $7,914.2 million and rose to $12,493.4 million in 2003.
Source: By Nikos Bardounias - Kathimerini, http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/content.asp?aid=85835


Brokers say dry tonnage prices are 'astonishing'
---DEMAND for dry tonnage remains 'staggering', shipbroker Gibson reports. Ships in this category changing hands for astonishing? prices, writes David Osler.
The London brokerage goes on to argue that owners remain reluctant to sell despite the volatility of freight rates.
Meanwhile, prices for tankers continue to hold high, although the volume of business is subdued.
Let us start with a rundown of bulk carrier deals, with the panamax bracket generating some of the most eye-catching recent deals.
A $200m en bloc resale deal sees Anangel sell four vessels of this size, all under way at Hudong and scheduled for 2009 delivery, to Frangos of Greece.
Transmed is reported to have committed panamax Edelweiss (73,624 dwt, 2004- built) at $63m, with the buyer undisclosed.
Mega Wisdom, a Chinese-controlled unit of 76,397 dwt, built in 2001, has also gone to undisclosed interests at $49.5m.
Although the price is soft it reflects an unfavourable timecharter until the end of next year at $20,000 a day.
Taiwanese-owned sisters National Prosperity and National Prestige, which are both 75,100 dwt, built 1995 and 1996 respectively, are reported to have gone to Vogeman for $46m and $47m.
Handysizes are also on some owners' wishlists, with Dockendale selling Clipper Faith (29,534 dwt, 1998-built) to undisclosed buyers at $32m.
Enforcer (26,338 dwt, built 1992) has also gone to Korean parties at $25.5m, while Yasmin O (22,051 dwt, built 1995) fetched $22.5m from Greek buyers for delivery in September.
There are three en bloc deals for boxships to note, which include STX Panocean paying $78m to Thien & Heyenga for two 1,740 teu sisters scheduled for 2009 delivery.
It is pretty quiet on the secondhand tanker front. Known deals include the sale of coated IMO II/III unit Vale (13,006 dwt, built 2007) at $30m to Nordic Tankers and MBC's purchase of Alam Cergas (35,000 dwt, built 2007) for $36.5m.
Gas tanker Sigas Eildon (6,920 dwt, 1982-built) secured $5.5m from undisclosed buyers.
Last month this column reported the sale of Nordic Hanne (83,970 dwt , 1987-built). Then the deal was reported to have failed and now the latest word is that the vessel has gone to undisclosed buyers at $22m.
There are unconfirmed reports thatthe 1999-built Rainbow Quest hasbeen committed at $49m, an excellent price for a 47,221 dwt vessel of that vintage.
Last week we reported that Palmali paid a firm $190m en bloc for two suezmax sisters, and there are reports that the same company has shelled out around $100m for a 2002 VLCC. However, some brokers discount this suggestion.
This article is compiled on the basis of publicly available sources. Reported transactions may not have been confirmed with the buyers or sellers named. Accordingly, Lloyd's List cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
provided by GBI-GENIOS... Lloyds List Europe Intelligence Wire
Source: Lloyds List Europe Intelligence Wire; Monday 16 July 2007


Exciting week in the ship financing markets
In other news Rand Logistics announced that it had raised $17.8 million in cash through the exercise of warrants while StealthGas raised $122 million through a Citi and Cantor led equity offering with the shoe still outstanding.
Notably ship finance is not all a bed of roses.While reports are that a great deal of loans are in progress or near closing,
Source: www.marinemoney.com, J u l y 1 9 , 2 0 0 7


Capital ventures ahead
COMPANY PROFILE:
Full company name:
Capital Product Partners LP
Listed:
Based:
Piraeus, Greece
Executives:
Evangelos Marinakis (Chairman); Ioannis Lazaridis (CEO/CFO)
IPO sponsor:
Capital Maritime & Trading Corporation
Fleet:
Nine ships currently:
5x37,000dwt, 4x47,000dwt
To be delivered:
3x47,000dwt (2007); 3x51,000dwt (2008)
Source: Fairplay International Shipping Weekly 19 Jul 2007


Genco Takes it up a Notch
The transaction, importantly, is being made possible by a credit facility provided by DnB NOR of up to $1.377 billion. The facility has a ten year term and will charge a rate of L+ 80 annually for the first five years and L+85 thereafter. $1.1 billion of this will go towards vessel purchases while $206 million will be used to retire an existing facility and $77 million to retire a short-term credit line. This despite the fact that many are beginning to observe that the banking market is pushing back.
The prices being paid for the brand new vessels are somewhat higher than the $101 million recently reported by Clarkson as the going rate for a 5-year-old 170,000 dwt capesize. However a transaction of this magnitude necessarily raises many of the problems with NAV frequently cited by more cash flow oriented analysts: it is large enough to impact the market for capesize vessels.
Not only this, but judging by the across-the-board dry bulk stock rally witnessed since the transaction was announced last night. Peter Georgiopoulos and his team have very strong credibility with investors: if they think the dry bulk market will hold long enough to justify the prices paid, the market believes them. It is widely known that General Maritime has built up liquidity and ultimately used some of it in a special dividend precisely because management did not believe market rates could justify transaction value. This sort of discipline wins respect from investors.
Omar Nokta of Dahlman Rose was more bullish, figuring that the 2008-delivery capes could be fixed at $70,000 per day for three years, leading to a $23 million annual return per vessel for an unlevered return of 19%. He also notes they believe that Genco is the only dry bulker that could have completed such a transaction without the need to raise equity, though Urs Dur argues that a future equity raise would not be surprising, but nor would it be dilutive.
This also brings to mind the consolidation question as Genco cements its spot as a major dry bulk player. The thing to note is that Metrostar interests, from which the fleet was acquired, have been gradually de-consolidating as when Quintana made its major purchase last year. However what is clear is that it is another step in bringing up the proportion of global shipping assets held in public hands and demonstrates the power of being public.
Source: h t t p : / /www.ma r i n emo n e y . c om  Ma r i n e Mo n e y F r e s h l y Mi n t e d  T h u r s d a y , J u l y 1 9 , 2 0 0 7  P a g e 1


Danaos Enters into Agreement to Acquire Five 2,200 TEU Containerships
---Athens, Greece, July 18, 2007 - Danaos Corporation (NYSE: DAC) today announced that it has signed contracts to acquire five 1997 built, 2,200 TEU containerships. These vessels, the H.Vladivostok, H.Advance, H. Stride, H. Future, and the H.Sprinter were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The size of the deal is slightly in excess of $150 million and the vessels are expected to be delivered to Danaos during July, August, September and October, 2007. The acquisition will be financed by existing credit facilities and own funds.
Danaos also announced that subsequent to the acquisition agreement it has arranged ten-year charter agreements for these five vessels with Hyundai Merchant Marine at fixed daily rates which reflect current market conditions. Upon delivery to Danaos, all five vessels will have just concluded their five year dry-docking planned maintenance.
"This acquisition marks another significant step in our development," said Dr. Coustas, Chief Executive Officer of Danaos. "We are pleased to further expand our long relationship with Hyundai Merchant Marine. Danaos has extensive experience in operating second hand vessels efficiently. This acquisition will be immediately accretive to our earnings and cash flow upon vessel delivery. Our physical inspections of these vessels have verified their excellent condition. Furthermore, these vessels will be delivered to us upon completion of their respective dry-docking within 2007. It is our plan to continue to expand our business through accretive acquisitions in order to grow our earnings, distributable cash flow and ultimately our dividend per share, and this acquisition demonstrates our commitment to the pursuit of our corporate objectives."
Source: http://www.irwebpage.com/danaos/press_releases.html?irp=pr2&relid=46623


Globus Maritime Ltd Expands Fleet to Seven Vessels
About Globus Maritime Limited
Globus is listed on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange under ticker GLBS. Jefferies International Limited is acting as nominated adviser and broker to the Company.
Source: July 19, 2007 02:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time , businesswire.com


Hellenic Seaways plans listing to propel further expansion
---A listing on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) is the immediate goal for Hellenic Seaways as Greece's biggest ferry company plans more newbuildings and expansion beyond the Aegean Sea.
Hellenic's major shareholder and vice chairman, Panos Laskaridis told a gathering of media people on board the company's newbuilding Nissos Chios, July 16, that funds raised through a listing would be used to further bolster and upgrade the Hellenic fleet. The listing is planned "for the next few months" with final preparations being made "when the bankers come back from their holidays".
Laskaridis said the company must operate beyond "the seasonal factor". "It is not possible" for a company to depend on the traffic of just three months, June, July and August and weekends. Laskaridis said that with the entry of foreign companies into the Greek market "Hellenic must follow developments and perhaps intervene where necessary".
He noted Grimaldi's entry into the Greek market through its participation in Anek Lines' share issue end May which raised 106m. Grimaldi holds at least a 14.36% stake in the Crete ferry company, and Laskaridis said that "Grimaldi did not come for a holiday" and pointed out the Italian company's aggressiveness in other European markets.
He said the growing links between Turkey and the European Union means "coastal shipping is changing status in the Aegean" and Greeks must watch "or they will find themselves facing surprises". He believes a company has to be international in its approach and needs to have "two or three plans for investment, with at least one working". He did however indicate Hellenic was not preparing to buy another ferry company, unless "a diamond is offered at a good price". He refuted claims old vessels serve Greece's ferry needs, saying "75% of people move around on modern ships".
Hellenic's md Gerassimos Strintzis said the company was "considering more new ships" as it "plans its investment programme" details of which will be announced July 22/23 following Hellenic's agm. He said shipyards in Greece and abroad will be considered though he did express disappointment at delays being encountered by the company on jobs undertaken in Greek shipyards. "We would have liked to have had this ship at the beginning of the season, but strike action and work regulations combined to slow progress," he told Newsfront.
The company's last investment programme of 200m was completed with construction of the Nissos Chios, the sistership Nissos Myconos, delivered in September 2005, and the purchase and conversion of the Ariadne, the ex-Ferry Himuka, purchased end-2006 for some Yen 4.5bn (approx 27m). Strintzis said the 7,900gt, 1,800-passenger, 530 lane mtr Nissos Chios, will commence its career July 21 sailing between Piraeus and Crete, a service it will operate until the Ariadne is introduced later in the summer. This ship's conversion, said to be costing over 20m, is now being completed and on its introduction, the Nissos Chios, which has a service speed of 26.5-knots, will operate a day-round voyage between Piraeus, Chios and Lesvos.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 20 July 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 28


LMZ Transoil to stay in shipping
---A 'purely business decision' has seen a Greek owner sell four modern units.
LMZ Transoil of Greece plans to remain focused on shipping in spite of selling all four of its modern panamax tankers to Eletson Corp.
General manager Marios Pantazopoulos says the sale last week of the 70,000-dwt LMZ Artemis (built 2004), LMZ Afroditi and LMZ Nefeli (both built 2005) and LMZ Nafsika (built 2006) was purely a business decision.
The sale was a lucrative one for LMZ Transoil. Although no price has been officially revealed, brokers say the ships could have raised $65m each.
The first of the four ships was contracted at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in July 2002 at just over $30m. The remaining three ships were booked in what was called a "breakthrough order" for Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries at around $31.8m per ship.
Pantazopoulos says LMZ Transoil will be looking at opportunities to re-enter shipowning as they arise.
"At this stage, there are no particular plans. It will be dictated by market conditions and specific transactions," he said.
LMZ Transoil was established in 1999 after a split of interests between siblings Vassilis Manios and Liza Manios Zachariou, whose initials are incorporated in the company name. It began its operations with a mixed fleet of seven vessels, quickly doubling that number with the purchase of five tankers and two bulkers.
Liza Manios and her husband, a Cypriot physician, put the fleet under third-party management while their son, Haris, was completing his education. Michael Ioannides, now head of Cyprus-listed Ocean Tankers Holdings, acted as their advisor for a number of years.
LMZ Transoil was among the first crop of companies that looked at listing on the Cyprus Stock Exchange in 2000 but like other owners keen to list, it was forced to abandon its plans as the exchange wavered over forming regulations.
The company's first plunge into newbuildings saw it book two VLCCs at Samsung Heavy Industries in June 2000 with an optional third unit that was confirmed soon afterwards. Three months later, it booked its first pair of panamax tankers at Daewoo. All five vessels were profitably resold - two VLCCs went to the Onassis group and one to Goulandris, while the panamaxes went to Stelmar.
Greek shipping sources say Haris Zachariou is a promising young shipowner.
Meanwhile, the deal marks another move in Eletson's fleet-renewal programme.
The products-tanker specialist currently operates nine panamax and post-panamax tankers out of a fleet of 24 vessels, the oldest built in 1992 and the youngest in 2003.
Eletson has on order six 52,000-dwt IMO-III products tankers at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for delivery in 2009/2010, two 51,000-dwt IMO-III products tankers at SLS Shipbuilding with delivery in 2008 and four 35,000-cbm LPG carriers also at Hyundai Mipo.
Gillian Whittaker Athens published: 20 July 2007
Source: http://www.tradewinds.no/archive/hardcopy/?id=20079562728


StealthGas Inc. Announces Pricing of Follow-On Public Offering
---ATHENS, GREECE -- 07/18/07 -- STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS), a ship-owning company serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today that its follow-on public offering of 7,200,000 shares of common stock, representing an increase of 1,200,000 shares from the originally proposed offering size, was priced at $18.00 per share. In addition, the Company has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,080,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any.
Proceeds from the offering are expected to be approximately $121.8 million or $140.1 million if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commission and the estimated offering expenses. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price for five LPG carriers which the Company had previously agreed to acquire, repay outstanding indebtedness incurred to acquire certain vessels in the Company's current fleet, and for general corporate purposes.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. acted as the joint bookrunning managers in the offering. Johnson Rice & Company L.L.C., Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., DVB Capital Markets LLC and Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. acted as co-managers.
A registration statement on Form F-3 relating to these securities was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 5, 2007. This release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
Source: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,141392.shtml


Two dead, in fire aboard tanker in Perama
---Two people were killed, after a fire broke out Monday morning on board the Panama-flag tanker ship "Alpha Trust" docked at a Perama pier in the port of Piraeus.
The tanker was empty of cargo when the fire broke, out but there are indications that a number of people are trapped aboard the burning vessel.
A force of 24 firemen and 8 fire engines battled the blaze.
One of the workers was earlier reported missing, but was found dead, in the evening.
Antonaros comments
Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday expressed the government's and the prime minister's regret for the loss of human lives in the Perama shipyard accident at the port of Piraeus earlier on Monday.
Rescue efforts are still in progress, stated Antonaros, while responding to a question on safety conditions at the workplace. He underlined that the government has promoted a number of measures, a list of which will be distributed by him during the day.
PASOK, GSEE
Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) spokesman Petros Efthymiou and the Genereal Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) on Monday evening commented on the accident at Perama, which resulted in the detah of two workers.
"Because today the government spokesman stated the government's dedication to its commitments, he should study the statements made by the present prime minister and then leader of the main oppoasition, when on October 8, 2003, he had visited Perama."
Commenting on Efthymiou's remarks, Minister of State and Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said "I cannot believe that in front of such a tragic event, there should be margin for partisanship, political confrontation."
He added that "finally, PASOK neither wants nor can even once show fundamental responsibility."
GSEE expressed its "deep sorrow but also outrage over the new tragic accident," noting that "there is a complete lack of safety measures."
PASOK MP Damanaki
Main opposition party PASOK MP Maria Damanaki, in charge of employment and social insurance in the party's parliamentary council expressed abhorrence for the conditions under which the accident in the Perama shipyard took place and reiterated her party's pledge for immediate measures against workplace accidents. In addition, she underlined that the body responsible for monitoring workplace conditions will have to be upgraded and extended PASOK's condolences to the families of the victims.
Damanaki blamed the ministry of employment for lack of inspections and preventive policy, which had led to the loss of human lives.
She also stated that, based on existing figures, roughly 25,000 workplace accidents are reported annually by the Social Insurance Institute, IKA, while roughly 11,000 workers leave the workforce annually on early retirement as a result of injury or illness caused by work conditions.
Source: http://www.hri.org/news/greek/ana/2007/07-07-17.ana.html#12


Detained Greek Ship Escapes
---A ship registered in Greece, MT Tritya which was judicially arrested and detained in Nigerian territorial waters as a prejudgement security for the satisfaction of civil claims in a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has escaped.
By the orders of the court, the vessel ought to remain in detention until a sufficient and acceptable security by way of a bank guarantee had been furnished by her owners.
The vessel was said to have unlawfully escaped out of Nigerian territorial waters on Saturday night without the security ordered by the court, just as she carried along, three Nigerian security men engaged by Admiralty Marshal to provide security. As at press time, the fate of the three Admiralty Marshals remains unknown.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Lagos, a shipping agent, Mr. Tokunbo Akinsola said by virtue of the writ of summons in suit number FHC/L/CS/613/07 filed in the Federal High Court, Lagos, Rahamaniyya Global Resources Limited and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited claimed against M/T Tritya, Nautical Heart Maritime S.A (owners of M/T Tritya), M/T Vitoria VII and Dolpraises International Limited (despondent owners of M/T Victoria VII) jointly and severally, the sum of $3.5 millions being damages for negligence for breaches of charter party relating to the carriage of its petrol on board the defendant vessels.
He alleged that the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Port Habour connived with others to aide the escape of the detained ship out of Nigerian territorial waters.
He stated that Rahamaniyya Global Resources Limited and Capital Oil Limited want Interpol, the Nigerian embassies in the Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to search and locate the vessel, rescue the 3 Nigerians on board whether dead or alive and bring them home.
He also urged the Federal Government to set up a high powered panel made up of eminent Nigerians to probe the various roles played in the unlawful escape of M/T Tritya from lawful arrest and detention by different government agencies and their officials.
Akinsola explained that there was need for the panel to make recommendations that will compel government agencies to comply with Nigerian laws to avoid future occurrence.
Source: By John Iwori, 07.17.2007, http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=83829


First Greek hydrogen submarine
---Air Products, in partnership with Hellas Air Pro, has supplied hydrogen for a new submarine belonging to the Hellenic Navy, in Skaramanga, Greece
The HDW class 214 submarine has a fuel cell-generated power supply that allows it to operate fully on hydrogen, which has a number of benefits. The fuel cell, which produces electrical energy from oxygen and hydrogen, allows the submarine to cruise under water for weeks without resurfacing, while the battery power in conventional diesel-electric submarines typically depletes after a few days cruising under water.
In addition, Air Products said that the fuel cells do not emit any noise or noticeable exhaust heat, making the submarine virtually undetectable.
The fuelling technology is based on Air Products' cryogenic hydrogen compressors (CHCs), which are used in conventional hydrogen supply systems.
The submarine was built by Hellenic Shipyards, part of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The shipyard plans to build more fuel cell-powered submarines for the Hellenic Navy under a HDW license, and conventionally-powered vessels will also be fitted with hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
Source: The Engineer Date Published: July 18, 2007
Source: http://www.scenta.co.uk/Engineering/1701382/first-greek-hydrogen-submarine.htm