Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 52 - 2009


9 sailors killed after ship fire off Venezuela

Agence France-Presse First Posted 09:23:00 12/26/2009 Filed Under: Accidents (general), Waterway & Maritime Transport
Admiral Carlos Aniasi told state television station VTV that he received the information from the captain of the "Aegan Wind," a Greek cargo ship.
Aniasi said the bodies of the dead sailors were found by their crewmates "in various sections" of the ship.
"We do not know the circumstances of their deaths, whether they were asphyxiated or whether they were burned," Aniasi added.
Greek and Venezuelan officials earlier said that six Filipino sailors and three Greek officers were missing the blaze.
Five other crewmembers that sustained injuries, including one said to be in a serious condition, were evacuated by helicopter to Porlamar on the Venezuelan island of Margarita, according to Manuel Reinger of the island's civil protection force.
The blaze broke out just after 4:00 am (0830 GMT) and spread from the engine room throughout the ship, which at the time was 33 nautical miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Blanquilla Island in the Caribbean Sea off northeastern Venezuela.
"Apparently there was a malfunction in the fire system of the vessel," Reinger said.
The Greek merchant shipping ministry said there were 24 crewmembers aboard -- nine from Greece and 15 from the Philippines.
Reinger said 10 crew members remained on the ship, but Venezuelan emergency personnel were unable to reach them due to rough weather conditions.
The "Aegean Wind," which was transporting iron ore from Brazil to the US port of Houston, Texas, is owned by Atlantic Bulk Carriers, based in the Greek port of Piraeus, near Athens.

Almi Tankers Gets The Deal Of The Year
---Athens-based Almi Tankers of Fostiropoulos family reached an agreement with South Korean Daewoo Shipyards for 10 Suezmax tankers, in one of the biggest orders of the year.
The cost will be at 650 mil. dolars while the ships are to be delivered between the end of 2011 and the end of 2013.
The so far anemic orders on new ships and the inability of many shipowners to finance their already placed orders have brought down the prices of newbuildings, offering bargains to those with liquidity.
Source: Wednesday, 23 December 2009 - 11:34

Omega reveals order switch
--- 23 Dec 2009. OMEGA Navigation Enterprises today confirmed a joint venture with Glencore and a major revision to its newbuilding schedule at Hyundai Mipo.
The NASDAQ-listed product tanker owner said the new joint venture, Megacore Shipping, is 50% owned by ONE and 50% owned by Glencore subsidiary Topley.
ONE and Glencore each novated five 37,000dwt MR1 newbuild orders at Hyundai Mipo to Megacore. That 10-ship programme has been reduced to nine and the mix changed to two 37,000dwt MR1 product/chemical tankers and seven 75,000dwt LR1 product/oil tankers.
Source: Fairplay Daily News

NewLead Holdings Ltd. Begins Trading on the NASDAQ Under the Symbol 'NEWL'
--- ATHENS, Greece, Dec 21, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ ----NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) (the "Company") announced that at market open today, December 21, 2009, the Company will begin trading under the symbol "NEWL." The Company previously traded under the symbol "RAMS."
As previously announced, concurrent with shareholder approval and the symbol change, the Company officially changed its name to NewLead Holdings Ltd.
To commemorate the name and ticker change, NewLead's Management team will be ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell today, December 21, 2009.
To view the closing bell ceremony live, please visit at 3:50 p.m. An archive of the closing bell ceremony is available after December 21, 2009 at
About NewLead Holdings Ltd.
NewLead Holdings Ltd. is an international shipping company that owns and operates product tanker, container and dry bulk 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 two container vessels in capacity of 2,917 TEU each and three dry bulk vessels secured on period charters.

Eurotankers has bulker trio inked in China
---Eurotankers of Greece has emerged with three handymax bulkers on order in China but with an apparent long delay in delivery.
The company, traditionally a tanker operator as its name indicates, is listed as having three 33,500-dwt bulkers booked at Samjin Shipbuilding Industries in Weihai.
According to the Lloyd's Register/Fairplay newbuilding database, the vessels - Hull Nos 1037, 1038 and 1039 - were slated for delivery in October and December this year and February next year, respectively.
However, while Samjin's website carries a news item with a photograph dated 14 November 2008 concerning the steel cutting of Hull No 1037, it also has a news item dated 12 August 2009 indicating that the steel-cutting ceremony for Hull Nos 1037 to 1040 was held on that date.
Eurotankers president Elias Gotsis did not respond to calls from TradeWinds to clarify the status of its newbuilding project.
The fleet includes one other bulker, the 89,500-dwt Aldebaran (built 1985), converted from a tanker. Otherwise it currently controls a fleet of nine tankers ranging in size from handy to aframax.
This month, the company paid $7.78m for the 100,000-dwt tanker Vanguard Viking I (built 1991) at auction in Singapore. The ship is out of class and requires some steel replacement but Gotsis told TradeWinds at the time that he intends to have it drydocked and back in service as quickly as possible.
At the start of December, Eurotankers sold the 31,000-dwt tanker Esmeralda (built 1981) to Far Eastern interests for a reported $3.5m.
In February, it sold the similar-size Rastaza (built 1981) for demolition and bought the 97,000-dwt Genie (ex- Semakau , built 1988) for a reported $6.5m. It followed up in May with the purchase of the 96,000-dwt Mire (ex -Molda , built 1994) for $16.8m.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 23 Dec 2009 | last updated: 14:44 GMT, 22 Dec 2009

Safe Bulkers, Inc. Announces Agreement for Early Termination of Existing Charter in Exchange for Compensation

Prosecutor asks that ferry owner Agoudimos be arrested
---A warrant for the arrest of the owner of the GA Ferries firm, Gerasimos Agoudimos, was issued yesterday. A Piraeus prosecutor asked authorities to apprehend Agoudimos after 11 employees filed suits against him for his alleged failure to pay their normal December wages as well as their Christmas bonus. Police were last night looking for Agoudimos and GA Ferries executive Manolis Lambrinos, for whom an arrest warrant was also issued.

Good outlook for Greek private banks
---Julian Macqueen - Thursday 24 December 2009
Mr Petropoulos said that most banks were aware of the dangers and had been taking steps accordingly.
His views were echoed by others familiar with the Greek financial scene, who said that the doom-and-gloom media reports on the Greek financial sector are exaggerated.
However, the debt crisis has seen a rise in the cost of funds, although not by a dramatic amount, and banks are passing these costs on to their customers.
Tougher covenant conditions and higher interest rates can be expected in the current climate, said the source.
Less well-known shipping companies on the lookout for finance could well find it tough, but for established companies with strong banking relationships the opposite would hold true, according to Christos Varsos, chief financial officer with Goldenport Holdings, which announced a $37m loan agreement last week.
Mr Varsos said that conditions for arranging finance had eased from earlier in the year.
According to the latest research from Petrofin, Greek banks control around 23% of the total Greek shipping book, with the National Bank of Greece ($3.5bn), Emporiki Bank of Greece ($3bn) and Alpha Bank ($2.6bn) among the biggest domestic lenders to shipping.
At the end of last year, the total figure for both drawn and committed Greek shipping loans stood at $73.2bn.

Shipowners regret Copenhagen's 'lack of direction' for shipping and warn of risks
---London: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represented shipping at last week's UN Climate Change Conference, says it is 'disappointed' that the text of the final (non-binding) Copenhagen Accord is 'silent on the treatment of international shipping in the delivery of further CO2 emission reductions, to which the industry remains firmly committed.'
For the moment at least, UNFCCC has been unable to agree a clear mandate for the IMO on how to build upon the considerable work it has already undertaken on a package of technical, operational and economic measures for reducing shipping's emissions on a global basis, reports the ICS, which represents shipowner associations in 33 countries (but not China) controlling 75% of the world fleet.
'It is vital for all governments to understand that, in the absence of a global package agreed by IMO, there is a serious risk that some countries will develop unilateral measures to regulate at national or regional level the CO2 emissions of ships trading internationally,' warns the ICS. 'Such unilateral measures would likely result in serious market distortions and - most importantly - be far less effective in ensuring the reduction of CO2 emissions by the global shipping sector as a whole.'
IMO will next debate a solution for shipping CO2 emissions at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in March 2010. [21/12/09]