Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 28 - 2008

 

Koreans gather in Greek orders worth over $1.2bn

---The Greek newbuilding spree seems to have been relaunched with projects worth more than $1.2bn emerging in recent days. Established names and some new names are involved, with all the orders going to South Korea. The world's largest shipbuilder, Hyundai HI has snared much of the business.
George Procopiou's Dynacom Tankers seems to have just beaten the price hike for VLCCs, reportedly booking a pair of high spec 318,000-tonners at Hyundai for $157m each with delivery in August and October of 2011. The ships have been designed with many extras including common structural rules (CSR) and new performance standard for protective coatings (PSPC) specifications, as well as double/double bunker-tanker protection.
The reported price indicates the order may have been inked before the cost of steel was added in to Hyundai's current quotes of up to $170m. Just how the market is moving can be seen as Dynacom readies to take delivery of two similar size VLs from Hyundai, both ordered in 2006 as part of a quartet for an estimated $119.5m each.
Greece's second largest operator, Cardiff Marine, George Economou's private company has placed an order for four 159,000dwt tankers at Samsung HI of South Korea. Cardiff is said to be paying around $96m for each for the ships with delivery in 2011. Cardiff recently booked four 115,000dwt tankers at between $77m and $78m apiece at the same yard, giving the Athens-based company a tanker orderbook of 16 vessels, plus two ultra-deepwater drillships booked at Samsung for around $800m each, by the US-listed Dryships.
Phoenix Energy Navigation has placed an order worth $192m for a pair of 164,000dwt tankers at Hyundai HI for delivery in 2011. In April 2006, Phoenix ordered two two aframaxes at Hyundai for delivery in the first half of 2009, at a cost of $61m each.
Bright Navigation has ordered two 81,000dwt newbuildings plus an option at South Korea's SPP Shipbuilding for delivery in November and December of 2011 at $59.1m each. Bright has also taken up an option held on an order for two 34,000dwt bulkers at Daesun Shipbuilding&Engineering. The ships are costing $37m each and will deliver late 2010.
The same Korean yard is said to have finalised an order with an unnamed Greek owner for two firm 59,000dwt bulkers, plus two options for delivery in 2011 and 2012, costing around $50m a ship.
-- Filed: 2008-07-11
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Orders for new ships losing steam
---By Dimitris Sigalas - Kathimerini
Most, if not all, shipping companies are proud of the high returns they have achieved through the operation of their vessels in the last few years, but new orders from Greek and other European firms seem to be losing steam this year.
The tail winds in the market have propelled its expansion through the wealth amassed for investment from operating profits. Yet what shipowners are worried about at the present is not so much the operation of their vessels, but the risk entailed by the continuing rise in fuel prices and their impact on the cost of energy, as well as the higher cost of money due to inflation.
Europe has retained its leading role in new ship orders, accounting for an investment of $123 billion or 53 percent of orders from all over the world in 2007. Greek shipowners are always the undisputed leaders in the industry, having been responsible for 15 percent of all orders last year with the investment of $36 billion. Shipowners from Germany followed with 13 percent, ahead of Norway (7 percent), Italy (4 percent) and Turkey (4 percent).
Behind Europe come the three powers of the Far East (China, Japan and South Korea) with combined investments of $37 billion, or 16 percent last year. China actually trebled its investment from $6.5 billion in 2006 to $18.6 billion in 2007. The other Asian countries invested $21 billion while North America spent $17.5 billion.
But if 2007 proved to be a golden year for investment in new ships that represented 44 percent of the global fleet, this year the picture is entirely different. The first four months of 2008 saw orders around the world decline by 84 percent year-on-year, falling to just $35 billion.
Greek shipowners appear to have refrained from investing in new ships this year, with orders for just a handful of new tankers. The same picture can be seen among German shipowners. In contrast, Asian companies continue to invest in new vessels. The euphoria of high chartering rates seems to be spurring their investment activity and long-term time-chartering contracts.
It now looks certain that the majority of all types of investment in new vessels have already been realized. What remains to be seen at this stage is whether this picture will continue in the market for the foreseeable future.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_economy_2_07/07/2008_98320


Hanjin has 43 ship orders until 2013; 5 from Dioryx
---By GENIVI FACTAO
Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines has total ship order of 43 to last until 2013 according to president Jeong Sup Shim who said the company got a repeat order of 5 more ships from Dioryx Maritime Corp.
Hanjin last Friday launched MV Argolikos, the first container vessel built in Subic.
Dioryx in all ordered six ships worth $1.6 billion with the second ship set for delivery this November.
Dioryx chairman Dimitri Papadimitrou said the second ship is exactly the same as Argolikos 41,000 dwt with cargo capacity of 4,300 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), length of 258.9 meters, a width of 32 meters, a height of 19 meters, and an actual speed of 24.6 knots.
Four more vessels will be delivered in 2009.
"My company takes pride in being the first client of Hanjin," Papadimitrou said. He added the launching of the Argolikos ushers in "a new era for Hanjin and for the Philippines as well." President Arroyo led the naming ceremony on Friday, calling it "a milestone achievement in shipbuilding" and a showcase of excellence for Filipino ship workers. "We are elated and proud. This is the very first ship that sails out of the Hanjin shipyard - the largest ever built in the Philippines - is a marvelous showcase of sound engineering and design. It brings pride to its owner, it brings pride to its creator, and it brings pride to us as the host of its creation," the President said.
Hanjin has invested $1.7-billion in its shipyard, and is working on even expanding with the construction of its second drydock, expected to be finished next year.
Currently it has 13,000 workers which will reach 21,000 by 2010, said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza.
Hanjin's shipyard boasts d is truly world class. Hanjin develop a modular construction technology, which has improved construction time by 25 percent.
Arreza quoted Hanjin chairman Nam Ho Cho as saying, that 43 vessels are scheduled for delivery by 2013. Hanjin got orders from Europe, France, Germany and for Hanjin's own shipping lines in Korea.
President Arroyo conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit to Cho. With the full operation of the Hanjin shipyard, the Subic Freeport expects to double its export production to about $3 billion annually, according to Arreza
Source: http://www.malaya.com.ph/jul07/busi1.htm


Sizzling capesize-charter market brings in new faces
---The hot market for capesize bulkers is drawing new players into the period charter market.
A company called Grand China Logistics has reportedly taken a 180,000-dwt newbuilding set for delivery from a South Korean yard in the first half of 2010 for five years at $55,000 per day.
Sources suggest that this company is a joint venture between Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and Hainan Airlines of China. The vessel is said to be controlled by STX Pan Ocean.
But another five-year charter for a capesize newbuilding has won a much higher rate as the ship is due out of the yard in just three months. Shagang of China is said to be paying $87,750 per day for a capesize under construction at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS). The deal is worth about $160m.
The ship is controlled by George Economou's Cardiff Marine. Cardiff has also fixed another newbuilding to Shagang for 10 years to Shagang at $60,000 per day. The ship is due out of SWS at the end of this year. This will produce revenues of $216m.
Another 10-year deal has been concluded for a capesize newbuilding with delivery from Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries in the middle of 2010 to Safety Management of Greece. The ship is said to have been picked up by Constellation at $40,000 per day.
Another five-year deal has been concluded for the 178,000-dwt Bright Century (built 1997). The ship is going to Cosbulk at $89,000 per day with prompt delivery.
BHP has taken the 172,000-dwt Cape Venus (built 1996) for three years at $111,000 per day with prompt delivery and Cargill has fixed the 171,000-dwt Cape Island (built 2004) for 28 to 30 months. That charter does not start until the first half of 2009 and will run at $100,000 per day.
The spot market for capesizes continues to be volatile but ended Wednesday at $156,700 per day, as compared with $152,100 per day a week ago.
Trond Lillestolen Oslo
published: 10 July 2008
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Greece: Maritime safety questioned
---A passenger ferry struck a charted reef at the island of Chios in the Aegean, bringing into question Greek safety standards.
Friday, July 11, 2008
By Thrasy Petropoulos
Marine authorities last week sought to reassure people that Greek ships are safe after a passenger ferry ran aground, causing the evacuation of almost 600 passengers and crew bound for Piraeus.
The Theofilos, owned and operated by the Lesvos Shipping Company (NEL Lines), struck a charted reef attempting to navigate the narrow stretch of sea between the Aegean islands of Hios and Oinousses on the evening of June 28.
The incident, which has been attributed to human error, caused a 20-metre breach in the vessel's portside hull and prompted the leak of an undisclosed quantity of oil which, apparently, has been contained. No beaches are believed to have been affected by the spill.
Observers have criticised the decision of the captain, Manolis Frangiadakis, to pass between the islands rather than round Oinousses. It was apparently to reduce the journey to Piraeus by two nautical miles - estimated to correlate to around 300 euros of fuel.
Likewise, there were accusations that the captain delayed in notifying the authorities of the collision, which occurred when the first mate was at the helm and as the vessel was approaching Hios to pick up passengers.
The 475 passengers were initially asked to don life jackets and prepare for an emergency evacuation as the vessel took on a two-degree list, but the captain assisted by Hios port authorities and emergency services, proceeded to request the help of smaller boats to assist in removing the passengers some two hours later. There were no injuries.
"The captain's decision-making was perfect," Yiorgos Vlahos, president of the Masters and Mates' Union of the Green Greek Merchant Marine, told the Athens News. "Even the decision to go ahead with full-scale evacuation with lifeboats, and then change his mind once it was determined that the ship was not in danger of sinking, was absolutely correct.
"And all the talk that he delayed in informing the authorities is utterly false. The captain informed the Hios port authorities within eight minutes. To assess such a serious crisis within eight minutes is a very short period."
He conceded, however, that the incident was easily avoidable and first mate's actions leading up to the collision needed proper investigation.
"[The stretch] is not as narrow as people are making out," Vlahos said. "In ground terms, it is about 2km, which is wide enough and certainly deep enough, for a ship to pass through. It is important to stress that the alternative route, around the islands, is neither safer nor more dangerous. Now as to why the ship hit the reef - to be honest, we are also trying to figure this out."
Bridge discrepancy
Merchant Marine Minister George Voulgarakis confirmed that his ministry was informed at 8.40pm on June 28, ten minutes after the incident. "The fact is that the captain delayed in notifying authorities of the collision. That is the truth," he said.
He added that further details would not be released until the completion of the investigation and iterated that stricter penalties would be handed out to captains found to be in breach of international shipwreck laws.
He also said that captains and other navigators would have to attend compulsory educational programmes yearly with ship simulators, causing a swift negative reaction by marine unionists.
Voulgarakis noted, however, that a ship's course was the decision of the captain and that, though the more accustomed route for such a journey was between Oinousses and Turkey, it was neither illegal nor unusual for a captain to navigate between Hios and Oinousses.
NEL Lines did not comment on the decision, although the Greek Capital Market Commission on June 30 temporarily suspended trading of the company's shares. In a statement, the Greek market watchdog said the suspension decision was taken to ensure the smooth operation of the market and to protect investors.
Meanwhile, the first mate, Yiorgos Akindynos, told Hios port authorities on July 2 - the first day of the investigation - that the strong winds swept the 150m-long vessel travelling at 18 knots, off course. "I was at fault because I should have checked the ship's coordinates more often. I kept changing the course, but the vessel continued to veer towards the left," he said.
Port authorities reportedly testified that the sea conditions were calm and that the wind was only 2-3 Beaufort - equivalent to a gentle breeze.
The captain added that he had given the first mate strict course instructions, well away from the underwater reef. He conceded, however, that he should have been on the bridge at the time.
How safe?
Coming in the wake of the sinking of the Louis Hellenic-owned Sea Diamond in March last year, when two French tourists drowned after the cruiseship struck a reef approaching Santorini harbour, observers are questioning safety standards of all Greek vessels.
Also the result of human error, the Express Samina disaster of 2000 claimed 82 lives when the passenger ferry collided with an islet off the coast of Poros in broad daylight.
However, rather than highlight flaws in Greek shipping, the Theofilos incident serves to highlight the high safety standards on board ferries, according to Piraeus-based Tony Field, of Lloyd's Register, one of the classification societies responsible for standards of marine safety and technical maintenance.
"If you think about the number of Greek ferry journeys that are completed weekly to the satisfaction of passengers, one accident highlights that there can be problems but also that it is a very safe form of transport, " he said.
He added: "Greek shipping, in general, has a very good reputation. As I understand it, the actual response to the emergency was very good and this would have been, in part, because people followed instructions prescribed by the ISM [International Safety Management] Code."
Thrasy Petropoulos writes for Athens News and appears here with permission.
Source: http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idCategory=33&idsub=124&id=15714&t=Greece%3A+Maritime+safety+questioned


A Hellenic headache
---THYSSENKRUPP faces a serious financial dilemma over a demand that it repays funds received by Hellenic Shipyards before it was acquired by the German conglomerate.
Observers told Fairplay that it is legally difficult for ThyssenKrupp to avoid paying, however unreasonable the case appears.
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk/secure/displayMagArticles.aspx?articlename=fpnw20080710009nw


Union of Greek Shipowners releases July activities update
Saturday, 05 July 2008
Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/


Owner, Operator, and chief engineer of Greek ocean-going vessel Rio Gold indicted on environmental offenses
---
July 9, 2008, WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/CAN
CONTACT: Joshua Eaton, (415) 436-6958, Josh.Eaton@usdoj.gov
The defendants were first charged by Complaint on June 13, 2008. The defendants appeared on June 19, 2008, before United States Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil and were arraigned on the Complaint. Mr. Thomas was released on bond which required him to remain in the United States pending the resolution of the case. All three defendants will be arraigned on the Indictment on July 10, 2008, at 9:30 am before United States Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James in San Francisco.
Each of the two corporate defendants, Casilda Shipping, Ltd,. and Genesis Seatrading Corporation, faces a maximum fine of $500,000 and a maximum term of probation of five years on each of the seven counts charged.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wade Rhyne and Stephen Corrigan are prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal technician Katie Turner. The United States Coast Guard investigated the case.
Any indictment contains only allegations and, as with all defendants, Defendant Thomas and both defendant corporations are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Further Information:
Case #: CR 08-488-CW
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
Source: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/press/2008/2008_07_09_riogold.indictment.press.html


Safe Bulkers, Inc. Announces Acquisition of a New Post-Panamax Drybulk Vessel and New Time Charter
The contract price for the vessel is approximately $68.4 million subject to customary adjustments as provided for in the agreement. The acquisition cost is expected to be financed from cash from operations and additional debt.
New long-term time charter
The Company, pursuing its balanced chartering strategy, also announced today that it has entered into a 10-year time charter for a Capesize class vessel with a delivery date during the first half of 2010, at a gross daily rate of $40,000 less 1.00% total commissions.
About Safe Bulkers, Inc.
Source: http://www.safebulkers.com/sbpr070808.pdf


Aries Maritime Announces Changes to Management Team and Board of Directors
---ATHENS, July 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (NASDAQ:RAMS) today announced it has named Jeffrey Parry Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Parry replaces Mons S. Bolin, who will remain a Director of the Company.
Mr. Parry, 48, has 24 years of experience in the shipping industry. Previously, he was President of Mystic Marine Advisors, a Connecticut-based advisory services firm for international ship owners, which he founded in 1998. Mystic Marine specializes in the development and structuring of private investments in dry bulk and tanker assets, and recently advised on the re-structuring of A.G. Pappadakis & Co., Ltd., a multi-generational shipping enterprise. From 2003 to 2007, he was a Managing Director of Poten Capital Services (PCS), a division of Poten & Partners, Inc. PCS, which was co-founded by Mr. Parry, is a FINRA registered broker-dealer specializing in M&A and commercial advisory services to major participants in the international energy and maritime sectors. Prior to co-founding PCS, Mr. Parry was a Senior Advisor at Poten & Partners, focusing on period tanker chartering and S&P projects. From 1988 to 1998, he was an Executive Vice President at "C" Ventures, Inc., a New York-based firm specializing in ship management and private equity investments in shipping and telecommunications.
Mr. Parry started his career in shipping as a stevedore on the New York waterfront. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. He received a BA in English Literature from Brown University.
Mr. Parry commented, "I am excited to join Aries Maritime as its new CEO. The Company has recently taken proactive measures to strengthen and enhance its operating and financial capacity. Going forward, my goal is to build on these initiatives to improve the Company's financial position and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities as we continue to implement our period charter approach. I look forward to working with our new and highly experienced management team in order to achieve these objectives."
The Company also announced it has appointed Captain Gabriel Petridis, Christopher J. Georgakis and George Xiradakis to its Board of Directors. Capt. Petridis will serve as Chairman. Per Olav Karlsen, the former Chairman, and Henry S. Marcus resigned from the Company's Board. With these changes, Aries has a total of five Directors, the majority of which remain independent.
Mr. Bolin, stated, "I am delighted to welcome Jeff Parry as the Company's CEO as well as the new members of Aries' Board of Directors. By bringing together these seasoned professionals with a proven track record in the shipping industry, Aries has taken critical steps aimed at improving future performance. We look forward to executing our operating strategy and driving long-term shareholder value."
Capt. Gabriel Petridis has approximately 25 years of shipping experience, serving as an officer and master on various ships including tankers and bulk carriers as well as holding managerial positions at various shipping companies. From 1997 to 2005, he was the Managing Director of Magnus Carriers Corporation, a technical manager of tankers, containers, reefers, bulk carriers and gas carriers. In 1991, he co-founded with Mr. Bolin Southern Seas Shipping Corporation, an affiliate of Aries Energy Corporation, and is a co-director of Sea Breeze (UK) Ltd, another affiliate of Aries Energy Corporation. Capt. Gabriel Petridis graduated from the Nautical College of Greece and received the Greek Ocean Going Master Mariner Certificate in 1981.
Christopher J. Georgakis has two decades of shipping experience with a concentration on the dry bulk sector and considerable U.S. capital markets experience. From November 2004 to February 2008, Mr. Georgakis was President and Chief Executive Officer of Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd., a NYSE-listed owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes. Prior to that, he served six years with privately owned London-based Sea Challenger Maritime Ltd., a subsidiary of Belmont Shipping Ltd. Mr. Georgakis holds a B.S. in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from United States International University.
George Xiradakis has approximately 20 years of experience in the shipping industry with a concentration in ship finance. Mr. Xiradakis is currently Managing Director of XRTC Business Consultants Ltd., a financial advisory firm serving the maritime industry, which he founded in 1999. From 1991 to 1999, Mr. Xiradakis worked at Credit Lyonnais and its predecessors, most recently serving as Deputy General Manager of Credit Lyonnais Greece and Head of Shipping for Greece, Middle East and India. Mr. Xiradakis is currently a non-Executive Director of NASDAQ-listed DryShips Inc. and its subsidiary, Ocean Rig ASA. Mr. Xiradakis graduated from the Nautical Marine Academy of Aspropyrgos, received his postgraduate diploma in Commercial Operation of Shipping from London Guildhall University, formerly known as City of London Polytechnic, and obtained an MS in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales.
Conference Call Announcement
Aries will hold a conference call on Thursday, July 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss results for the first quarter of 2008. To access the conference call, dial (800)-533-7619 for domestic callers, or +1-785-830-1923 for international callers, and use the reservation number 7642331. Following the teleconference, a replay of the call may be accessed by dialing (888)-203-1112 for domestic callers, or +1-719-457-0820 for international callers, and using the reservation number 7642331. The replay will be available through August 7, 2008. The conference call will also be webcast live on the Company's website: http://www.ariesmaritime.com. A replay of the webcast will be available following the call through August 7, 2008.
About Aries Maritime Transport Limited
Aries Maritime Transport Limited is an international shipping company that owns and operates products tankers and container vessels. The Company's products tanker fleet consists of five MR tankers and four Panamax tankers, all of which are double-hulled. The Company also owns a fleet of three container vessels that range in capacity from 1,799 to 2,917 TEU. Currently, 11 of the Company's 12 vessels have period charter coverage. Charters for 30% of the Company's products tanker fleet currently have profit sharing components.
Investor and Media Contact:
Michael Cimini
Vice President
The IGB Group
+1-212-477-8261
Source: http://www.ariesmaritime.com/


Seanergy Maritime Announces New Record Date for Special Meeting of Shareholders to Approve Proposed Business Combination
At the special meeting, shareholders of record will be asked to consider and vote upon a proposal to approve the acquisition by Seanergy Merger Corp., the wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, of six dry bulk vessels from affiliates of the Restis family (including a newly built vessel and a vessel under construction), as contemplated in the Master Agreement dated May 20, 2008, and other related matters.
Ensuring Your Vote is Counted
In advance of the Record Date, Seanergy advises holders of its securities to move these securities into accounts which do not permit the lending of securities, so called cash accounts or segregated accounts, and out of accounts that permit the lending of securities, such as margin accounts.
About Seanergy Maritime Corp.
Source: http://www.seanergymaritime.com/press/seanergy071108.pdf