Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 34 - 2009


Survey Invitation_Port Devolution; The Piraeus Port Experience

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2. For the scope of the present interview privatisation is considered to be a phase in port devolution and it is not used under its strict definition.
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Largest GL-classed Tanker Named: VLCC "Athenian Victory"
---Thursday, Aug 20, 2009. The naming ceremony for the very large crude oil carrier "Athenian Victory" took place today on the world's largest shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan / Korea. The delivery to its owner, the Greek shipping company Athenian Sea Carriers, is scheduled for the 27th of August. The vessel with the hull number 2002 is the first of a series of four 318,000-dwt VLCC tankers. The classification was entrusted to Germanischer Lloyd (GL).
For GL, this is the largest current tanker project. The classification process followed the new project management format introduced by GL whereby the interaction on technical matters between the shipyard, the ship owner and GL is centralized. Both the plan approval process and the steel cutting were already completed in 2008. "For GL, the work on this giant took off in summer 2006 when Athenian Sea Carriers had ordered the four sister vessels and entrusted GL with the newbuilding classification. Now, the first vessel is ready for delivery, big and strong, made of the highest quality steel and built according to the Common Structural Rules for oil tankers", said Torsten Schramm, GL's Chief Operating Officer at the naming ceremony in Ulsan.
The "Athenian Victory" has a length of 333 m, a breadth of 60 m and a draft of 22.6 m. It is a single screw VLCC oil tanker, with 17 cargo oil tanks including two slop tanks and twelve segregated water ballast tanks. The main engine has 29,000 kw. The double hull oil tanker has been designed and assessed according to North Atlantic conditions. The hull has been designed to IACS Common Structural Rules for Tanker (CSR).
Compliance with requirements of MARPOL Annex IV (Sewage) and Annex VI (Air Pollution) is ensured. Separate Normal and Low-Sulphur Heavy Fuel Systems (double storage tanks, settling tanks and service tanks) allow for SOx emissions management. Under the flag of Marshall Islands it will take up its first voyage to Singapore.
Its environmental properties will be documented in the "Environmental Passport". The voluntary class notation issued by Germanischer Lloyd is a certified documentation of mandatory and voluntary environmental characteristics of the vessel. This will include aspects such as engine and incinerator emissions, vapour emission control systems, refrigeration systems, fire-fighting systems, pollution by oil and noxious liquid substances, pollution by sewage and garbage, ballast water management and anti-fouling systems. The "Athenian Victory"
complies with the regulations for fuel oil tank protection as required by MARPOL Annex I Reg. 12 A, although it is not mandatory.

Two Chief Engineers From Oil Tanker 'Georgios M' Indicted for Environmental Crimes
---WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A federal grand jury in Houston has returned an indictment charging two crewmembers of the oil tanker Georgios M with making false statements, violating federal law designed to prevent pollution from ships and obstruction of justice, the Justice Department announced.
According to the indictment, Ioannis Mylonakis and Argyrios Argyropoulos, served as Chief Engineers aboard the oil tanker Georgios M and each have been charged with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), making material false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard and obstruction of justice.
Both are accused of maintaining false oil record books aboard the oil tanker that concealed deliberate discharges of oil-contaminated waste directly into the ocean. The defendants are accused of being responsible for the oil record book when the oil tanker entered various ports in Texas from 2006 to 2008 including Corpus Christi, Texas City and Houston.
Engine room operations on board large oceangoing vessels such as the Georgios M generate oil-contaminated bilge waste. International and U.S. law prohibit the discharge of bilge waste containing more than 15 parts per million of oil without treatment by an oily water separator - a required pollution prevention device. APPS requires all overboard discharges be recorded in an oil record book, a standardized log which is regularly inspected by the Coast Guard.
Knowing violations of APPS are punishable by up to 6 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Making false statements are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while obstruction of justice is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is a formal accusation and is not proof of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are found guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section with assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency Regional Counsel's Office.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

Spare a buck?
Source: Fairplay International Shipping Weekly - Newswatch 20 Aug 2009

Greek fund buying Cido panamaxes
---A new equity outfit is about to get its hands on its first bulkers.
New Greek equity fund Financier Investment Group (FIG) has bought its first two panamax bulkers this week from Cido Shipping of South Korea.
Sources close to FIG confirm the company finalised the purchase of the 76,000-dwt Fortune Ocean (built 2006) and Fortune Princess (built 2007) for around $38m and $39m, respectively. The price is considered firm. Sources add that the Fortune Princess will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year. It is working a charter party until the end of the year earning $20,000 per day. The Fortune Ocean will be delivered charter-free in October. The bulkers were part of a recent $150m failed transaction in which Cido was selling three units to Chinese buyers.
FIG is controlled by Spyros Laimos and Dionisis Slamaris, who are 60/40 partners in the equity outfit. Both launched FIG's shipowning arm, Financier Capital Partner I (FCP I), onto the public scene just under a month ago with $700m of spending money at its disposal.
Laimos then told TradeWinds that FCP I was planning to invest in panamax bulkers built after 2004. He added that the fund was aiming for a core fleet of at least five to seven bulkers of over 70,000 dwt to diversify into other sizes.
Last week, Cido was believed to have sold the Fortune Ocean along with the 77,000-dwt Fortune Clover (built 2006) for $37.25m each. The 180,000-dwt Oriental Angel , due for delivery from Sasebo Heavy Industries in November, had been touted as sold for $71.5m to the same unidentified Fujian-based shipowner.
At the time, sources said the buyer interested in the Cido ships could not secure a 30% upfront payment - a figure that would have approached $50m.
By Gillian Whittaker and Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 23:00 GMT, 20 Aug 2009 | last updated: 12:45 GMT, 20 Aug 2009

Old Ways Work Best
Source: Freshly Minted VOLUME 7 ISSUE 33 August 20, 2009

Navios swoops for two Alba capesize newbuilds
---Nigel Lowry, Athens - Thursday 20 August 2009
DRY bulk and logistics company Navios Maritime Holdings has acquired a further pair of capesize newbuildings, which will be paid for with a combination of cash and convertible preferred stock.
The vessels in the agreement, which have a nominal value of $141.5m, are two 180,000 dwt vessels for delivery in the second half of 2010 and both are pre-chartered for at least 10 years.
Only two months ago three other capesizes ordered at the same shipyard by Alba were among four vessels acquired by Navios in a $325m deal.
But on that occasion the company purchased the ships from Commerzbank, with the fourth vessels packaged in the innovative deal coming direct from Sungdong.
The latest pair of purchases at least partly seems to follow the model of the first deal, which included issue of convertible stock to the shipyard and reduction in cash terms for three other capes Navios had already on order at Sungdong.
The stock is understood to be issued to Alba interests and the yard.
The 10-year charters are at a net daily rate of $29,356 and the vessels are expected to generate about $8.7m each in annual operating income.
The employment contracts include a profit-sharing element in excess of $38,500 a day and have renewal options for an additional two one-year periods.
The effective acquisition price for the vessels assuming a $10 conversion price for the stock was $57.8m per vessel, considerably lower than the price of the quartet acquired under the deal in June.

StealthGas Inc. CEO, CFO comments on 2nd Quarter and six months 2009 results
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
We believe the small LPG market is healthier than the three major shipping segments both from a new buildings order book standpoint and the stability of its freight rates. Apart from the delivery of the Stealth Argentina in November of this year, Stealthgas has no major scheduled capital expenditures until 2011.
We are continuing to strive to control our operating expenses and our net income break even level fell during the first half of this year compared to the first six months of 2008. In my view the second half of 2009 will continue to be challenging, although as we move into the colder part of this year and into early 2010 this may somewhat aid our performance , to the extent we continue to have a significant number of our vessels in the spot market.
CFO Andrew Simmons commented:

Dahlman Rose & Co: FreeSeas - 2Q Results Hampered by Off-Hire Time, but Acquisition of 10th Vessel to Boost Earnings
>On the conference call, management stated the company will continue to employ its vessels on a short term basis.The company has already begun marketing the Free Neptune for spot or other short term employment, and will likely avoid long term contracts at current market levels. FreeSeas carries the most spot exposure in the dry bulk group, with 40% of its remaining 2009 operating days exposed to the spot market, and over 80% of its 2010 days locked in.
>FREE shares are attractively valued.The stock saw pressure yesterday following its earnings report, but we expect the company to rebound from the challenging quarter and increase earnings with an expanded fleet and strengthening market. Following the addition of the new vessel, FREE shares trade at just 3.5x 2010 EV/EBITDA, below the 5.0x average for the rest of the group. We maintain our Buy rating and $3 target, implying 5x 2010 EV/EBITDA.
Background / Overview
We initiate coverage on FREE shares with a Buy rating and $3 target. FREE shares currently carry an attractive valuation, trading at less than 4x 2010 EBITDA. Although its spot exposure and older fleet are likely to keep its shares trading at somewhat of a discount to the rest of the group, we expect its shares to continue to benefit from stronger freight rates. We arrive at our $3r target by applying a 5x multiple to our 2010 EBITDA estimate.
Source: Dahlman Rose & Company LLC <>

TOP Ships Inc. announces amended director nominations and short postponement of its 2009 AGM
---ATHENS, GREECE (August 20, 2009) - TOP Ships Inc. (NasdaqGS: TOPS) announced today that the 2009 annual meeting of shareholders to be held at the Company's offices, located at 1 Vas. Sofias & Meg. Alexandrou Str., Maroussi - Athens 151 24, Greece, will be postponed from its originally scheduled date of Thursday, September 3, 2009 to Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 1:00 p.m., Athens time. The Company's current Class II directors, Thomas F. Jackson and Christopher J. Thomas, will be retiring and will not be standing for re-election at the Annual Meeting. Accordingly, the Company's Board of Directors has nominated Messrs. Marios Hamboullas and Yiannakis C. Economou to stand for election as Class II directors whose terms will expire at the 2012 annual meeting.
The close of business on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, will remain as the record date for the determination of the shareholders entitled to receive notice and to vote at the Annual Meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof.
In connection with the postponement of the Annual Meeting and the amendment to the Proposal One, the Company will distribute to shareholders a supplement to its proxy statement and an amended proxy card.
Source: top Ships Inc.