Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 07 - 2009

 

Newsfront: Akti Miaouli

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# The government is planning to build a series of desalination plants for some 13 islands in the Cycladic and Dodcanese groups. Marine, Aegean and Island Policy minister, Anastasis Papaligouras said the plan will cut the cost of water by more than half. Most of the islands have to ship in water on tankers, an exercise which cost Euro 13m in 2008. Under the plans revealed February 12, islands will be able to drastically cut their water bills as under the tender costs will be fixed for the first 10 years. During this period the plants will be under private management to be returned to the local community at the end of 10 years. The minister said desalination water will cost about Euro3 per cumtr whereas it cost Euro 8 to ship. The minister said some 15 firms have expressed an interest in building the plants and operating them, and that it is now up to the municipalities to find the necessary land.
# Shipowner / industralist Constantine Angelopoulos has signed an agreement under which the family's steel producer Halyvourgiki is to form a joint company with the Public Power Corporation (DEH) to build two power plants with a total capacity of 880 megawatts. The plants, to be built within the facilities already operated by Halyvourgiki at Elefsinia, will be powered by natural gas. Under the terms of the agreement, the steel mill will own 51% of the company that will start off with share capital of Euro 10m. Constantine Angelopoulos controls some 16 aframax and suezmax tankers under the Arcadia Shipmanagement banner and a fleet of panamax bulkers under the Aegean Bulk banner.
# John Tzoannos, Marine, Aegean and Island Policy ministry, secretary general, believes the most positive element coming from the announcement of the European Union (EU) is the commission's Commission (EC) changing attitude towards bolstering the competitiveness of the EU's flags. Addressing members of the media at the Marine ministry, February 9, Tzoannos said Greece welcomes "all EU moves to improve the competitiveness of European shipping as a positive" but is opposed to "unilateral decisions and those taken outside of Imo".
# Though the Tsakos Group's traditional New Year Vassiloppitta cutting ceremony was somewhat more low-key this year than in the past, group chairman, Panayiotis Tsakos still used the occasion to express words of wisdom. Tsakos said we have to accept the crisis is due mainly to "overborrowing and over consumption" but reminded staff gathered at the event that "Greek shipping is a pioneer of emerging from crisis". For him, the industry's biggest headache is "the shortage of young people coming into the profession".
# The 6th Lloyd's Shipping Economist Greek Shipping and Ship Finance Conference 2009 will focus on: Returning to Confidence: How Do We Get There? The event will be held May 19 / 20 at the Ledra Marriott Hotel, Athens and will seek to tackle up-to-the-minute analysis and debate on key issues regarding the financial and chartering landscape. Pre and Post Conference Workshops will be held May18 and May 20. Further information: E-mail: loukia.tsagkli@informa.com
Source: www.newsfront.gr, News Roundup Update : 13 February 2009


Deadly tanker blast finding
---Two metalworkers and those overseeing the repairs they carried out last year on the Friendship Gas tanker in Perama dockyards, resulting in an explosion that killed eight people, were to blame for the accident, according to a report filed with a Piraeus prosecutor.
The report also highlights the lack of safety measures on board the ship. Experts believe that clearly marked exit signs and the regular clearing away of debris could have prevented the loss of life.
The blast on the Friendship Gas was the worst accident of its kind in more than two decades. The trial of those involved is due to begin in a few days.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_2_12/02/2009_104648


Hard landing for P&I?
---Clubs are heading into the renewals with historically low free reserves and hoping for steep general increases.
Rarely have the protection-and-indemnity (P&I) clubs been adrift in such hostile conditions.
They have lost maybe one-quarter or one-third of their free reserves as a result of the troubles of the financial markets - nearly half of the clubs have made cash calls - there are steep general increases to pay in a week's time when most P&I cover renews and there is a great deal of uncertainty about what the new underwriting year holds.
The P&I year that ends next Friday is set to be a shocker with a record deficit in prospect.
Six of the 13 clubs in the International Group have made cash calls to bring in more than $500m of new funds, which could rise to over $600m if warnings that more may be needed turn into calls.
The most obvious candidates to make cash calls have done so but it is within the bounds of possibility that further clubs, perhaps ultimately all clubs, will make unforecast calls.
General increases averaging 16.5% should theoretically bring an extra $400m to $500m of premium for the new P&I year but this is based on the crude assumption there is no downturn in the insured fleet, charterers pay an equivalent increase to owners and the full premium rises are collected.
But the probability is for a lesser increase in the clubs' premium income, perhaps just half of this figure.
The clubs incurred a near $380m underwriting deficit through 2007 but investment income, aided by a small foreign-exchange gain, saved the year and in the end there was a marginal surplus of a couple of million dollars.
The comfortable position where investment income could be largely relied on to wipe out underwriting losses is no longer true.
The underwriting deficit should be down this year but investment losses on an unprecedented scale are in prospect with the bottom-line result likely to be the worst in P&I history. A bottom-line loss of some $500m seems entirely realistic - more than double the loss of around $200m seen in a couple of years at the start of this decade.
There was, perhaps unsurprisingly, an air of shipowner activism at last month's Piraeus Marine Club's annual P&I seminar with George Gourdomichalis arguing that conserving what is ultimately owners capital is a prime duty of the clubs.
The G Bros chief brought up the question of a users committee that would mirror the cross-club links of managers of the International Group mutuals.
He cut to the key argument that perhaps the crisis in the clubs has less to do with the credit crunch than the failure of adequately rated vessels over many years.
In particular, he cited the well-established practice of clubs competing fiercely for new tonnage - where the price-fixing arrangements of the International Group cartel do not apply - by setting rates well below that required for renewing tonnage.
And the opportunity to address the chronic underwriting losses of the clubs during the shipping markets golden era, when earnings were at unprecedented levels, has been lost.
Instead, owners are having to dig into their pockets at a time when the dry-bulk and container sides of the industry at least are struggling.
But the mutual structure of the clubs helps to dissipate shipowner activism and criticism of club managers.
The owners of larger fleets are frequently to be found on club boards. It would not be untypical for one-third to half of the tonnage in the club to have director representation.
At least 350 shipowners and shipping-company directors serve on the boards of the 13 International Group clubs with this a major obstacle to blaming club managers for the clubs' performance.
If club managers have been complacent in failing to tackle underwriting losses and become excessively reliant on the easy investment gains to be found in a protracted bull market, many shipping-industry leaders and club directors were complicit in overseeing this failure.
So a policyholder rebellion is not a very realistic option unless owners are sufficiently agitated to be prepared to criticise the shipowner directors of the clubs as well as the managers.
But the 10-year exemption of the International Group cartel from the normal competition rules of the European Community (EC) expires at next week's renewal.
Fortunately for the clubs, continuation of the exemption now appears to be automatic unless there is a major change to the P&I market or there is a complaint about the activities of the group.
By Jim Mulrenan London, Published: 00:00 GMT, 13 Feb 2009 | last updated: 14:59 GMT, 13 Feb 2009
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Prudent Or Imprudent?
From a financial perspective, the company believes it can weather these uncertain times based upon the long-term contracts with reputable counterparties, reserves and undrawn capacity of $246 million under its credit facilities which do not amortize until June 2012 and March 2013.
On the other hand, 97% of revenues for 2009 are fully locked-in, however during 2010, this declines to 60% as 9 ships come of charter. Given its structure as an MLP, the balance sheet is highly levered with debt to capitalization of 75.2% and a cash position of $43.1 million as of year-end. For the moment, the company seemingly has no issue with collateral maintenance covenants.
The cash distribution does have a positive effect for the G.P. and for the subordinated shares held by management. First and most importantly, the special distribution brings the annual distribution to the level, which triggers the early termination of the subordination period and the conversion of the subordinated units into common units. At the previous distribution level this would not have occurred until March 2011. Following termination, Capital Maritime will own 44.6% of the common units and will be able to vote them in matters that require common unit approval. The special distribution also triggered the payment of $12.5 million in IDRs, which the GP has agreed can be paid in four quarterly installments.
In the press release Mr. Lazaridis is quoted as follows:
"We continue to face a severe deterioration in the banking and credit world as well as a major global economic slowdown, whose duration is very difficult to forecast and which will continue to significantly impact world trade and vessel values. At the same time vessels' cost environment continues to be inflationary. In spite of this background we achieved solid results. We enjoy a solid balance sheet, we have zero capital commitments to purchase or build any vessels and our revolving credit facilities are non-amortizing until June 2012 for the $370 million facility and until March 2013 for the $350 million facility. The strength of our counterparties and the quality of our vessels combined with almost full charter coverage for 2009 give us comfort that we are adequately placed to face the market and maintain our distribution policy following the payment of this exceptional distribution."
Source: Marine Money Freshly Minted, www.marinemoney.com, T h u r s d a y , F e b r u a r y 1 2 , 2 0 0 9


Safe Bulkers, reports Q4 and year 2008 results; Declares quarterly dividend
international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, announced today its
unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2008.
The Company also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share for the fourth quarter
2008, which reflects an adjustment to its dividend policy in light of current market
conditions.
Summary of Fourth Quarter 2008 Results
million during the same period in 2007. The Company operated 11.53 vessels on average
$44,276 compared to 11 vessels and a TCE rate of $55,654 during the fourth quarter of
2007. The decrease in average TCE rate was a result of entering into long term time
charters contracted in previous periods.
decrease of 64%, from net income of $33.2 million or earnings per share of $0.61, in the
fourth quarter of 2007. The fourth quarter 2008 results include non-cash unrealized swap
losses of $21.9 million on our interest-rate swaps which contributed to the lower net
income of the period. This amount did not impact our cash flow and the underlying swaps
have minimized our interest rate exposure allowing us to match our interest cost related to
our long-lived assets (see additional disclosures below). There was a non-cash unrealized
swap loss of $0.2 million in the corresponding period in 2007.
2007, mainly due to lower net income.
2 EBITDA represents net income plus net interest expense, income tax, depreciation and amortization. See
"EBITDA Reconciliation".
Summary of Full Year 2008 Results
from $165.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2007. The Company operated
11.13 vessels on average during the year ended December 31, 2008 earning a TCE rate of
$49,626 compared to an average of 10.72 vessels and a TCE rate of $42,327 during the
year ended December 31, 2007.
December 31, 2008 compared to $209.2 million or $3.84 per share for the year ended
December 31, 2007, which included a $112.4 million gain on sale of assets in 2007. Net
income or earnings per share, excluding gain on sale of assets, increased by 23% from
$96.8 million, or $1.78 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2007 to $119.2
million, or $2.19 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2008. The full year 2008
results include non-cash unrealized swap losses of $21.3 million on our interest-rate swaps
which influenced negatively the net income of the period. There was a non-cash
unrealized swap loss of $0.2 million in the corresponding period in 2007.
of 28% from $113.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2007. Adjusted EBITDA was
influenced by the unrealized loss on interest rate swaps amounting to $21.3 million during
the year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $0.2 million during the year ended
December 31, 2007.
Dividend Declaration
The Company has declared a cash dividend on its common stock of $0.15 per share payable
on or about February 27, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of trading of the
2009. The Company has 54,503,989 shares of common stock outstanding as of today. The
However, the Board has reduced the amount of the dividend to a level it considers prudent
in light of the current economic and financial environment. The Company will use
additional retained cash flow from the lower dividend payment to strengthen its balance
sheet. The declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will always be subject to the
and cash requirements in view of its capital expenditures, debt obligations and overall
market conditions.
3 Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA after giving effect to the removal of the gain of sale of assets of
Discussion with Bank Lenders
We are currently in discussions with two of our lenders regarding our request to amend, as
of December 31, 2008, the loan covenants relating to the calculation of vessel value, as of
December 31, 2008, so that such value includes the value of charter contracts attached. This
is particularly relevant in our case given the long term nature of our charters and their
associated cash flows. Our other loan agreements already contain provisions consistent
with such amendment. Accordingly, we have not determined the amount of our bank
indebtedness that should be reflected as short-term as of December 31, 2008.
Fleet and Employment Profile
of 3.33 years as of December 31, 2008. The Company has also contracted for additional
drybulk carriers with deliveries scheduled through the second half of 2010.
time charters is as follows: 95% of fleet ownership days for 2009, 75% for 2010 and 48%
for 2011. This includes vessels which will be delivered to us in the future but have already
been chartered-out as of their delivery date.
Management Commentary
Polys Hajioannou, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the
the coming periods. I believe our Board has acted prudently in declaring a reduced dividend
for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 of $0.15 per share. I would like to reiterate that
management owns approximately 80% of the total shares outstanding, and the decision to
leave additional cash in the business as a result of the lower dividend payout, indicates our
commitment and belief in the long term prospects of the dry bulk sector and our company.
We will continue to closely monitor the financial and charter markets during the current
recession, as the depth and the extent of this unprecedented crisis are not yet understood.
Our decision on dividend policy will continue to be shaped by what better serves the longterm
Conference Call
host a conference call to discuss the financial results.
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the
following numbers: 1 (866) 819-7111 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0 (800) 953-0329 (UK Toll
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until February 17, 2009 by
dialling 1 (866) 247-4222 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0 800 953-1533 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or
+44 (0)1452 550-000 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 1859591#
Slides and Audio Webcast
There will also be a live, and then archived, webcast of the conference call, available
should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.
Management Discussion of Fourth Quarter 2008 Results
Net income decreased by 64% to $11.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 from $33.2
million for the fourth quarter of 2007. This decrease is attributable to the following factors:
Net revenues: Net revenues were $46.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 17%
decrease compared to $56.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, due to a decrease in
prevailing charter rates from a TCE of $55,654 to $44,276.
Vessel operating expenses: Vessel operating expenses increased 47% to $5.0 million for the
fourth quarter of 2008, compared to $3.4 million for the same period in 2007. Daily vessel
operating expenses increased to $4,722 for the fourth quarter 2008, compared to $3,329 for
the fourth quarter of 2007. These increases are attributed mainly to:
2007.
Early redelivery cost: During the fourth quarter of 2007, an amount of $5.5 million was
incurred relating to the early termination of a period time charter of one of our vessels.
During the fourth quarter of 2008 there was no early redelivery costs incurred.
Interest expense: Interest expense increased to $4.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2008
from $2.7 million for the same period in 2007, attributable primarily to additional
indebtedness. The weighted average annual interest rate charged on loans outstanding was
3.749% p.a. in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to 3.793% p.a. in the fourth quarter of
2007. The weighted average of loans outstanding during the fourth quarter of 2008
amounted to $450.2 million, compared to $285.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2007.
The higher average indebtedness reflects additional indebtedness to finance vessel
acquisitions, including advances for newbuildings, and indebtedness used for general
corporate purposes, including payment of previous dividends.
Loss on derivatives: Loss on derivatives amounted to $21.0 million for the fourth quarter of
2008 compared to a loss of $0.20 million for the same period in 2007, mainly as a result of
the mark-to-market valuation of interest rate swap transactions. At the end of the fourth
quarter of 2008, the aggregate notional amount of interest rate swap transactions
outstanding was $445.2 million, compared to $40.0 million at the end of the fourth quarter
of 2007. These swaps economically hedged the interest rate exposure of approximately 83%
95% of the interest rate exposure was economically hedged. The mark-to-market valuation
of these interest rate swap transactions at the end of each quarter is affected by the
prevailing comparable interest rates at that time.
Foreign currency loss: The effect of foreign currency exchange differences on loans
denominated in foreign currencies was diminished in the fourth quarter of 2008 as during
this quarter only part of one loan was denominated in a foreign currency.
Total current assets: Total current assets as of December 31, 2008 include cash and cash
equivalents and short-term bank deposits amounting to $49.0 million, and restricted cash of
$32.6 million. The restricted cash represents cash for payments to shipyards due in 2009.
Bank debt: Classification between current and long-term portion has not been determined.
We are currently in discussions with two of our lenders to amend the covenants relating to
the calculation of vessel value, so that such value includes the value of charter contracts
Source: http://www.safebulkers.com/news_press_rel.htm


Samsun Logix Hellas facing claims over unpaid charter fees
---Keith Wallis, Hong Kong - Thursday 12 February 2009
SAMSUN Logix Hellas, a Greece-based owner linked to troubled South Korean bulker operator Samsun Logix, is facing a raft of rule B attachment applications in a New York court that seek to freeze more than $11m to cover unpaid charter payments.
Turkish owner Er Denizcilik Sanayi Nakliyat ve Ticaret is seeking to freeze $681,000 related to the 1985-built, 27,652 dwt Fuat Bey. Racing Shipping, which is linked to Greek owner Sea Force Shipping, has applied to secure $399,000 allegedly owed on the 1985-built, 43,479 dwt Alkistis.
Racing Shipping confirmed that its rule B application covered outstanding charter and other payments related to the Alkistis.
Mr Kim added that Samsun Logix Hellas was a shipowner and operator with three owned vessels and four chartered vessels, comprising four handysize ships, one handymax and two panamax vessels.
Sources with Samsun Logix, which applied for court protection a week ago, said most of the chartered-in tonnage of around 60 mostly handysize and handymax vessels, would be redelivered to owners because the company is prevented from seeking new business under court rules.
Source: http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/news/samsun-logix-hellas-facing-claims-over-unpaid-charter-fees/20017617774.htm


Samsun collapses on Genco
---Daily News 12 Feb 2009. THE COLLAPSE of Samsun Logix will have a knock-on effect on Genco's revenue this year, the US-listed drybulk operator said today.
Genco, which agreed amendments to its $1.4Bn credit facility last month, said the collapse of the South Korean bulk shipping company Samsun Logix affects one of its ships and 3% of its planned revenue for this year.
Genco confirmed that the Genco Cavalier, a 2007-built Supramax vessel, is the only ship in its 32-vessel operating fleet that was on charter to Samsun Logix, which has filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in South Korea.
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk/


Genco Shipping & Trading Limited Details Limited Exposure to Samsun Logix
---NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE: GNK) today confirmed that the Genco Cavalier, a 2007-built Supramax vessel, is the only ship in the Company's 32-vessel operating fleet that was on charter to Samsun Logix Corporation, which the Company understands has filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in South Korea. Charter hire for the Genco Cavalier has been received up until January 30, 2009. The charter for the Genco Cavalier represented approximately 3% of Genco's reported revenues for the third quarter of 2008. Excluding the Samsun charter for the Genco Cavalier, the Company has approximately 65% of its fleet's estimated available days secured on time charters for the remainder of 2009 with a diverse group of charterers comprised of reputable multi-national companies. With the exception of Samsun, all of Genco's customers are current with their charter payments. Genco is currently actively exploring its options to collect amounts due to the Company from Samsun.
About Genco Shipping & Trading Limited
Genco Shipping & Trading Limited transports iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other drybulk cargoes along worldwide shipping routes. Genco Shipping & Trading Limited currently owns a fleet of 32 drybulk vessels consisting of six Capesize, eight Panamax, four Supramax, six Handymax and eight Handysize vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 2,396,000 dwt. After the expected delivery of three vessels the Company has agreed to acquire, Genco Shipping & Trading Limited will own a fleet of 35 drybulk vessels, consisting of nine Capesize, eight Panamax, four Supramax, six Handymax and eight Handysize vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 2,908,000 dwt.
"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements are based on management's current expectations and observations. Included among the factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements contained in this report are the Company's ability to collect amounts due from Samsun Logix Corporation and/or recharter the Genco Cavalier at all or at favorable rates and other factors listed from time to time in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
SOURCE Genco Shipping & Trading Limited
CONTACT: John C. Wobensmith, Chief Financial Officer of Genco Shipping & Trading Limited, +1-646-443-8555/
Web Site: http://www.gencoshipping.com
Source: http://www.gencoshipping.com


Hellenic Carriers Limited: Fleet Deployment Update
---M/V KONSTANTINOS D TIME CHARTER EXTENDED AT US$35,000 PER DAY
The M/V Konstantinos D is a 50,326 dwt Supramax built in 2000 at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding in Japan and was time chartered in March 2008 for a period of minimum 24 months maximum 26 months to Korea Line Corporation at a gross rate of US$56,250 per day.
Hellenic Carriers Limited
Fotini Karamanlis, Chief Executive Officer
E-mail: info@hellenic-carriers.com +30 210 455 8900
Source: Press Release 09 February 2009, http://www.hellenic-carriers.com/files/hc_09_02_09.pdf


Korea Line agrees lower rate with Hellenic Carriers
---Michelle Wiese Bockmann - Monday 9 February 2009
After negotiations lasting one month, London-listed Hellenic Carriers today said it had agreed to drop the rate from $56,250 per day, to $35,000 per day.
The troubled South Korean-based owner and operator had defaulted on a number of contracts with Greek and Asian owners and charterers after the freight market collapse, including Worldlink and Glory Wealth.
Negotiations between Korea Line and other shipowners in Piraeus were currently underway, Ms Karamanlis said, to renegotiate hiring terms for ships chartered during the boom times of late 2007 and early 2008.
A number of listed companies have tonnage on charter to Korea Line, including Eagle Bulk Shipping, which has 10-year agreements for its newbuilding fleet of supramaxes at rates between $17,000 and $19,000 per day.
Under the deal struck with Hellenic Carriers in March 2008, Korea Line took the supramax for 24-26 months. Under the new deal, the time charter period has been extended by 10 months, to expire in January 2011.
Ms Karamanlis said there was an option to terminate the charter in 2010, if the market rate was higher than $35,000 per day.
This is the second time that Hellenic Carriers has renegotiated rates. Last January the 69,601 dwt, 1993-built Hellenic Breeze was cut from its rate of $71,000 per day to $24,000 per day for the remainding three months of its 11-13-month charter to Rizzo Bottiglieri-De Carlini. The panamax charter was extended at the lower rate for a further two years, from May 2009.
Source: http://lloydslist.com/ll/news/korea-line-agrees-lower-rate-with-hellenic-carriers/20017616497.htm


SHI exports its first ship for the new year
---
Monday, Feb 09, 2009
- SHI starts the new year by exporting a 4,250 TEU container ship to Danaos Corporation
- Expands annual production target from 53 to 63 ships with the opening of floating dock No. 3
On January 1, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) delivered a 4,250-TEU container ship to container transportation firm Danaos Corporation (Greece), its first export for 2009.
The ship, 260 meters in length and 32 meters in width, can carry 4,250 20-foot containers, and can run at a speed of 24.5 knots (the equivalent of approximately 45 kilometers per hour). Construction of the ship began in March, and took nine months in total. The ship has been named Zim Monaco.
The container ship is the 16th ship to be delivered of the 18 container ships Danaos has ordered from SHI. This ongoing construction work has helped SHI to develop its technical expertise, allowing the shipbuilder to maximize productivity and to reduce costs.
Even in the face of declining orders across the industry, SHI managed to win orders for 54 ships worth a total of USD 15.3 billion last year, surpassing its initial target of USD 15 billion. It has now secured an order backlog of approximately USD 50 billion, equivalent to 40 months of work.
This third floating dock can carry 120,000 tons, enabling the construction of 8 ultra-large container ships weighing 8,000 TEU annually, which are the largest in the world.
Source: http://www.yourindustrynews.com/shi+exports+its+first+ship+for+the+new+year_23420.html


Gulf Oil Marine Ltd. and Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. Enter Into Strategic Partnership
---Sealub Alliance Network to Increase Distribution Coverage for Branded Line of Lubricants to 450 Ports in 40 Countries
HONG KONG and PIRAEUS, Greece, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW) and Gulf Oil Marine Ltd., a member of Gulf Oil Group, today announced that they entered into a strategic partnership for the global distribution of marine lubricants. This partnership will allow for Aegean to join the Sealub Alliance Network, a group recently formed by Gulf Oil Marine to distribute high-quality marine lubricants.
Gulf Oil Marine and Aegean Marine Petroleum, both widely respected within the shipping community for providing high-quality products and services, plan to establish an expansive global network and infrastructure for the distribution and delivery of first-rate marine lubricants. The strategic partnership between these two companies will allow for a significant extension in Sealub Alliance's presence to more than 450 ports in 40 countries. By rapidly expanding the number of ports as well as the facilities and services offered by its members, the Sealub Alliance Network provides a differentiated value proposition to ship owners and ship operators to fully meet the lubrication needs of their vessels.
Caroline Huot, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Oil Marine Ltd., stated: "We are excited to partner with Aegean Marine Petroleum to further expand Sealub Alliance Network for the global delivery of marine lubricants. Aegean's leading reputation for customer satisfaction combined with its commitment to high-quality lubricants is consistent with our objective to provide a superior product on a worldwide basis. Based on Aegean's extensive global reach and commitment to excellence, we are confident that they will add significant value to the Sealub Alliance as we continue our rapid growth."
E. Nikolas Tavlarios, President of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., commented: "We are pleased to join the Sealub Alliance as we continue to grow our marine lubricant business. By substantially increasing our joint global distribution network for marine lubricants to more than 450 ports, we expect to capitalize on our expanded scale and compete in a large number of markets traditionally led by major oil companies. Aegean's strong brand recognition and successful track record in providing value-added services bodes well for the Company to continue to offer a high-quality and cost-effective marine lubricant solution. We look forward to developing the Sealub Alliance and further penetrating the over 2 million metric ton annual world ship marine lubricant business."
About Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel to ships in port and at sea. The Company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers, and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines. Currently, Aegean has a global presence in 13 markets, including Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, Jamaica, West Africa, Gibraltar, U.K., Northern Europe, Greece, the United Arab Emirates as well as Singapore, and plans to commence operations in Tangiers, Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago.
About Gulf Oil Marine Ltd.
Gulf Oil Marine Ltd. is the newest operation for Gulf Oil Group, in the form of a dedicated and customized supply service for lubricants to the worldwide shipping industry. Gulf Oil Marine provides the shipping industry with marine lubricants high-quality products, expert and friendly customer service and a large range of technical services.
About Sealub Alliance
Founded in 2008 by Gulf Oil Marine Ltd., a Member of Gulf Oil Group, the Sealub Alliance is dedicated to the supply of marine lubricants to the worldwide shipping industry. Members of the Alliance currently serve more than 450 ports in over 40 countries. By the end of 2009, the Sealub Alliance plans to deliver marine lubricants and services to over 750 ports in 60 countries.
Source: Website: http://www.ampni.com/


Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.: Quarterly Dividend, 4Q 2008 release date & conference call
---Piraeus, Greece, February 13, 2009 - Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONAV, SGX:ONAV50), a provider of global marine transportation services focusing on product tankers, announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend with respect to the fourth quarter of 2008 in the base dividend amount of $0.50 per common share payable on March 9, 2009, to shareholders of record on February 24, 2009. This is the eleventh consecutive dividend in the base dividend amount of $0.50 per common share paid to investors since the Company went public in April, 2006.
The Board of Directors resolved to give One Holdings, an entity beneficially owned by the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, George Kassiotis, and the sole holder of the Company's Class B subordinated shares, the option to be paid the base dividend in .07 additional shares of Class B Common Stock for each share held, in lieu of cash. If elected to be paid in stock, this stock dividend has an equivalent market value of $0.50 per share, based on the closing price of the Company's common stock on the Nasdaq on the declaration date of February 4, 2009. One Holdings must declare whether to receive the $0.50 base dividend in cash or shares not later than February 27, 2009.
Omega Navigation Enterprises also announced that it will release its results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008 after the close of the market on Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
On Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 10:00 A.M. EST, the company's management will host a conference call to discuss the results.
Conference Call Details:
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1-866-819-7111 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800-953-0329 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452-542-301 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "Omega".
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until March 11, 2009 by dialing 1-866-247-4222 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800-953-1533 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44(0)1452-55-00-00 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: #3663884.
Slide and Audio Webcast:
There will also be a live, and then archived, webcast of the conference call, that can be accessed through Omega Navigation's website at www.omeganavigation.com. Participants to the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.
About Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. is an international provider of global marine transportation services through the ownership and operation of double hull product tankers. The current fleet includes eight double hull product tankers with a carrying capacity of 512,358 dwt which are chartered out under three-year time charters with an average age of less than three years. The company has also announced the signing of shipbuilding contracts to construct and acquire five additional product tankers with a capacity of 37,000 dwt each scheduled for delivery between March 2010 and early in 2011 and two additional product tankers with a capacity of 47,000 dwt the first scheduled for delivery on or about the second quarter 2009 and the second scheduled for delivery on or about the third quarter 2010. With the addition of these seven vessels, Omega's fleet will expand to 15 product tankers with a total deadweight capacity of 791,358 dwt.
The Company was incorporated in the Marshall Islands in February 2005. Its principal executive offices are located in Piraeus, Greece and it also maintains an office in the United States. Omega Navigation's Class A Common Shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "ONAV" and are also listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited under the symbol "ONAV 50".
Source: http://www.omeganavigation.com/021309.html


Wighams Capital Partners and MPC Longberry join forces / particular focus on Greek clients
---Wighams Capital Partners and MPC Longberry to create Debt Restructuring Advisory Practice for the Shipping Industry.
In light of the current downturn in the shipping cycle, Wighams Capital Partners Ltd (WCP), part of the Wighams Group, has formed a partnership with MPC Longberry LLP to provide debt advisory services to the shipping community. The team will have a particular focus on Greek clients due to the Wighams Group's strength and experience in this market.
WCP will bring origination, marketing and client management expertise to the partnership, with MPC Longberry providing market leading debt restructuring experience and expertise. MPC Longberry is headed by Albert Stein who is widely recognised as one of the most experienced and senior restructuring experts in the market. Prior to joining MPC Longberry he was with JP Morgan for 29 years, during which time he led some of the largest and most complex restructurings ever undertaken, including major sovereign debt transactions and over 15 shipping restructurings.
The combined team brings an unmatched combination of expertise in restructuring, shipping knowledge and the Greek market. Other team members include Robert Crawley, who was at JP Morgan for 29 years latterly as Head of Greek Shipping andJames Fairbairn, former Executive Director at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch who has over 20 years of ship finance experience.
MPC Longberry has recently been mandated by Aries Maritime Transport to advise on the management of $225m debt restructuring. Previously, the partnership's principals have worked on a number of high profile distressed shipping transactions, including; Anek Lines - $350m, Festival Cruises - $800m, Global Ocean Carriers - $128m, Sea Development and Alchemy I Pegasus Shipping.
Beyond the shipping sector the group have also worked on complex cross-border transactions including: restructuring the sovereign debt oflraq ($20bn) involving 450 different creditors; restructuring $2.2bn of debt for Petroleum Geo-Services and the A$26bn restructuring of the Australian shopping centre owner, Centro Properties Limited. MPC is also currently mandated by Mecom plc to advise them on the restructuring negotiations on their EUR 1bn debt.
Michael Jolliffe, Wighams' Group Chairman, said: "We see this downturn in the shipping cycle providing opportunities for ship owners to re-assess and restructure their capital base, working closely with their creditors and advisors to ensure companies remain solvent and profitable. Our experience of past crises shows that early movers will come out on top in this process. Those firms that come to their creditors from a position of strength, with the moral high ground and with highly experienced and respected advisors well known to the international banking and ship financing markets, will secure the best deals. We aim to help ship owners secure favorable, long-term durable restructurings allowing them to emerge with strengthened balance sheets and improved cash-flows, well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in a distressed market".
Albert Stein, Managing Director ofMPC Longberry, added; "Each situation is different. Loans that may seem the same and have the same broad characteristics can in fact have spectacularly different outcomes because of details that may be overlooked by lenders and borrowers alike. We've set ourselves up to provide the proper solution, whether they've been seen before in the shipping market or whether they've only been seen in the international leveraged restructuring markets. We've done covenant resets we've done debt/equity conversions, and we've crammed down creditors when necessary. The next wave ofrestructurings will require something more durable than a Band-Aid fix."
Contact details: Albert Stein, MPC Longberry, www.mpclongberry.com - Michael Jolliffe, Wighams Capital Partners Ltd., +44 207 824 5900
Source: Email Announcement, Feb 2009


Bimco Case Study Workshop - Athens, 22-24 April 2009
---When holding courses on chartering topics BIMCO is invariably confronted with requests for more in depth case study sessions. In order to accommodate these requests BIMCO has now developed a new type of chartering course with the main emphasis on case studies, plenary discussions and interaction.
These three-day courses will focus on three topics: Bills of Lading, Laytime and Time Charter and the cases will examine common problems arising from these areas.
The Workshops are designed for participants who already have some shipping experience and they are expected to, and will be encouraged to, contribute actively during group work and the ensuing plenary discussions.
Course overview:
> Bills of Lading
> Laytime
> Time Charter
> Case Studies
More information about the Case Study Workshop in Athens: Programme and registration
Contact us at: courses@bimco.org
Source: www.bimco.org


Dryships Announces Preliminary Agreement With Nordea Bank for a Covenant Waiver on the $800 Million Primelead Facility
---Athens, February 9, 2009- DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS) (the "Company" or "DryShips"), a global provider of marine transportation services for drybulk cargoes and off-shore contract drilling oil services, announced today that it has reached preliminary agreement with Nordea Bank Finland Plc to obtain a covenant waiver in connection with the $800.0 million Primelead facility, which was used to partially finance the acquisition of Ocean Rig ASA. As of today, the outstanding loan amount under the facility is $650.0 million.
In accordance with the main terms of the waiver: (i) the Company will pay a restructuring fee of 0.15% on the outstanding loan amount under the facility plus an amount equal to 1.00% per annum on the loan outstanding for the period from January 9, 2009 until the Effective Date of the waiver agreement; (ii) $75.0 million of principal repayment due February 2009 will be postponed until May 2009; (iii) the margin on the facility will increase by 1.00% to 3.125% per annum; and (iv) regular principal payments will resume as of August 2009. In addition, among other things, lender consent will be required for the acquisition of DrillShip Hulls 1837 and 1838, for new cash capital expenditures or commitments and for new acquisitions for cash until the loan has been repaid to below $375.0 million. The waiver agreement Effective Date will not exceed August 12, 2009, at which time the Company expects to be in compliance with the restructured loan covenants. The agreement is preliminary and is subject to formal approvals by the Company and the syndicate banks (Nordea Bank Finland Plc, DnB NOR Bank ASA and HSH Nordbank AG).
About DryShips Inc.
DryShips Inc., based in Greece, is an owner and operator of drybulk carriers that operate worldwide. As of the day of this release, DryShips owns a fleet of 43 drybulk carriers comprising 7 Capesize, 29 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 5 newbuilding drybulk vessels with a combined deadweight tonnage of over 3.4 million tons, 2 ultra deep water semisubmersible drilling rigs and 2 ultra deep water newbuilding drillships.
DryShips Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market where trades under the symbol "DRYS." Visit our website at www.dryships.com
Source: http://www.irwebpage.com/dryships/ir_press.html?irp=pr2&relid=55947


World shipping tonnage capacity hits 1.12 billion deadweight
---By David Ogah. THE world merchant fleet increased astronomically between 2007 and 2008, according to the review of maritime transport by the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
According to the United Nations trade organ, the world merchant fleet expanded by 7.2 per cent in 2007 to 1.12 billion deadweight tonnes (dwt) at the beginning of 2008. By that percentage increase, the organisation said there was a gain of 82 million dwt over the corresponding period of previous year.
The organisation attributed the increase to the historical high demand for shipping capacity that was responded to by the world shipping industry by ordering new tonnage, especially in the dry bulk sector.
The UNCTAD review of Maritime transport, copy of which was mailed to The Guardian few days ago, said vessel orders were at their highest level ever, reaching 10,053 ships with a total tonnage of 495 million dwt, including 222 million dwt of dry bulk carriers.
According to the organisation, the tonnage of dry bulk ships on order at the end of 2007 was 72 times higher than it was in 2002. It said since mid 2007, dry bulk orders outstrip those of any other vessel type.
The influx of new tonnage into the world fleet, said the organisation, over the recent years has contributed to the decrease in the average age of the world fleet to 11.8 years.
The tonnage of oil tankers increases by 6.5 per cent while that of dry bulk carriers increased by 6.4 per cent. These two major type of ships together represent 71.5 per cent of the world total tonnage, a slight decrease from 72.0 per cent in January 2007. The fleet of general cargo ships increased by 4.5 per cent in 2007. This growth rate was below the world total growth rate. This category's share of the total world fleet has further declined to 9.4 per cent.
The UNCTAD's review of maritime transport said the fleet of containerships increased by 16.3 million dwt, or 12.7 per cent, and now represents 12.9 per cent of the total world fleet. This high growth rate, according to the UNCTAD review, reflected the increasing share of trade in manufactured goods, which was further enhanced by its continued containerisation.
In 2008, only 1.1 per cent of the dry bulk fleet were combined ore/bulk/oil carriers, a further decreased from 1.5 per cent share of one year earlier. In spite of the high fluctuations in vessel charter rates, both for oil tankers and for dry bulk carriers, the building cost differential between purely dry bulk carriers and carriers still deterred investment in the more versatile combined carriers.
Among other types of ships, in 2007 there was a strong growth of liquefied natural gas carriers, which rose by 11.5 per cent reflecting the growing use of LGN in global energy supply.
The world fleet of fully cellular containerships continued to expand substantially in 2007. By the beginning of 2008, there were 2.276 ships with a total capacity of 10.76 million TEUS.
This represented an increase of 9.5 per cent in the number of ships and 14 per cent in TEU capacity over the previous year.
According to UNCTAD's review of maritime transport released recently, ship sizes also continued to increase, with average carrying capacity per ship growing from 2,417 TEUS in January 2007 to 2,516 TEUS in January 2008.
The average vessel size of new cellular containership that entered into service in 2007 was 3,291. Behind the increase in average vessel sizes was a growing spread between the largest ship deployed on the main east west routes, and the smaller containerships use for interregional and feeder services.
In 2007, the largest new fully cellular containerships were five 12.508 TEU vessels built in Denmark for the Danish Company Maersk, and the smallest new deliveries were 136 TEU ship built in Viet Nam for the Danish company Erria and two Indonesian built and operate 241 TEU ships.
The average age of the total world fleet continued to decrease since 2007. In 2007, the average age of vessel reduced to 11.8 years. By the vessel type, the youngest fleet continued to be that of containerships with an average age of nine years. 37.3 per cent of tonnage on containerships are younger than five years and only 12.4 per cent is 20 years and older.
The average age of tankers increased marginally to 10 years, the average age of bulk carriers decreased slightly from 12.9 to 12.7 years and general cargo vessels continued to be the oldest vessel type, with an average age of 17 years and 55.9 per cent of tonnage are 20 years and older. Only 12 younger than five years reflecting the trend that general cargo is increasingly containerised.
Further maritime transport analysis by UNCTAD recalled that developed countries have the youngest vessels as their vessels on the average age of 10 years old in 2008 followed by developing countries which vessels are on the age average of 13 years. The transit economies have vessels that are about 16 years old.
Replacement of general cargo vessels by containerships has been particularly noticeable in the fleets registered in developing and transit economies. In these country groups, containerships were introduced later than in the developed market economies fleets. As a consequence, in developing economies, 39.2 per cent of containerships are younger than 5 years old, as against only 12.1 per cent of the general cargo vessels in the group.
The continue increase in the world fleet has since caused a dip in freight rate globally according to the review of maritime transport.
International seaborne trade in 2007, driven by emerging and transition economies, surpassed a record 8 billion tons, the review of maritime transport reports.
Strong demand for shipping services helped push to unprecedented high the cost of moving dry bulk commodities internationally, as echoed by the Baltics Dry Index (BDI) through the first quarter of 2008. The BDI is a composite of shipping prices for various dry bulk products such as iron ore, grain, coal, banxide/alumina and phosphate and is a useful indicator of price movement.
More recently, the BDI has declined more than 11 fold from 11,793 points in May 2008 to 891 as at early November. This shows that the unfolding financial crisis has spread to international trade with negative implication for developing countries, especially those depending on commodities.
The immediate effect of declining freight rates for the developing worlds is mixed. Lower freight costs lead to lower prices for delivered traded goods. Both exporters and importers of food and other commodities thus benefit from lower freight costs, and inflationary pressures are eased. For most commodities shipped in bulk, freight rate account for a higher portion of the final value of the goods. Shipments with lower value of weight ratios are more sensitive to variations in transport costs. Because developing countries trade is dominated by trade in commodities or Low-value manufactured goods such as steel products), a drop in shipping rates benefits their trade under normal circumstances.
However, a rapidly falling BDI is also accompanied by reduced demand for shipping services, increasing the effects of the financial crisis and global demand for goods. This will negatively affect many developing economies.
Global merchandise trade had grown by 5.5 per cent in 2007, almost two per cent points higher than the growth of the world's gross domestic products (GDP) for the year. Dynamic emerging developing and transition economies drove the increase in international seaborne trade up by 4.8 per cent in 2007. In terdem with economic and trade expansion, demand for shipping services increase to reach 32,932 billion tonne mile, a 4.7 per cent jump. World container throughput grew by an estimated 11.7 per cent to reach 485 million TEUS in 2007, said UNCTAD in the 2007 review of maritime transport.
Source: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/maritime/article01/indexn2_html?pdate=110209&ptitle=World%20shipping%20tonnage%20capacity%20hits%201.12%20billion%20deadweight