Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 04 - 2010


Akti Miaouli / People & Places

* A memorial service, for the late Peter Jones who passed away in Athens just before Christmas, is to be held February 5 at the Church of Agios Nikolaos, on Piraeus' Akti Miaouli waterfront at 14:00hours. In line with Greek Orthodox tradition the memorial is being held 40 days after the London funeral of Peter Jones, who founded Shipserve Inc and spent over 30 years in Piraeus serving the company's shipowner and P&I club clients as a correspondent for a number of clubs. Children Sara, James and Anna look forward to welcoming friends and colleagues to the memorial.
* The Callimanopulos Group has announced the appointment of Nikos Benetatos to head of the technical department in Piraeus-based Marine Management Services succeeding the late Stelios Limnios. Benetatos, a prominent mechanical engineer, was with classification society ABS for 14 years serving in key positions in Korea, Japan and Piraeus and until he recently joined MMS was Regional Lead Surveyor for Eastern Europe with ABS. In the past he had also served as senior manager of Levant Maritime International and gm of the Piraeus Office of Navios ShipManagement Inc. Benetatos, has B.Sc and M.Scs in mechanical engineering of the Illinois Institute of Technology, is a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece and member of the Honorary International Society of Mechanical Engineers. His work load will increase at MMS, for within the next few months six ships, three 163,000dwt suezmaxes and three 114,000dwt aframaxes will be added to the already 1m dwt-plus fleet. The ships are being built in the Chinese shipyards, New Times Shipbuilding and New Century Shipbuilding, respectively.
* Just about every angle of P&I insurance was covered during the 10th P&I Conference sponsored by the Piraeus Marine Club and held at the club January 28. Chaired once again by shipowner Lou Kollakis, the tone for the event was set by Kollakis, club president, John Xylas and the event's co-ordinator and club treasurer, Maria Prevezanou. During the day three debates were staged, with teams for and against the motion. The first: This house believes that variety of choice among P&I clubs is good for shipowners and that merger into a small number of "mega-clubs" would not be in the interests of the shipping community, pitched: For the motion: Joe Hughes The American Club, Roger Ingles, Elysian Insurance Services, Lars Rhodin, The Swedish Club, and Steve Roberts, A. Bilbrough & Co, while against the the motion were: Mike Salthouse, North of England P&I Association, and Clas Ryden, Skuld.
The second debate: This house believes that pressure on clubs to build ever-larger free reserves does not reflect the best mutual interests of their shipowner members, saw: Rolf Roppestad, Gard, George Gourdomichalis, G Bros Maritime S.A, and Rod Lingard, UK P&I Club for the motion, with the floor discussing it. Third debate centred on piracy: This house believes there is a possible conflict of interest between the various insurance covers i.e P&I, FD&D, War, K&R and LOH. For the motion: Steve Roberts A. Bilbrough & Co, and Ilias Tsakiris, Hellenic Hull Management, while those against were led by, Guillaume Bonnissent of Lloyd's syndicate, Hiscox.
* During a ceremony on board its cruise ferry Knossos Palace, in Piraeus January 28, Minoan Lines presented plaques to 23 sea-going and shore-based staff who have now retired after long service with the Iraklion-based company. Minoan's md, Antonis Maniadakis thanked the employees for their efforts, before head of the Harbour Corps, Vice Admiral Athanassios Bousios started the presentations, making the first award to Captain Stephanos Paradissis.
* Helmepa (Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association) combined the traditional cutting of the New Year pitta, January 27, with the first board meeting of 2010. Chairman, Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos, wished everyone all the best for 2010, that Helmepa will progress, and that "shipping, and above all, the Greek economy will enjoy better times". The gathering also welcomed its first volunteer staffer, Glykeria-Niki Marounga-Panagiotopoulos, well-known lawyer and member of the average adjusting community. Now retired, she has volunteered to assist the work of Helmepa Junior.

--- by Brian Reyes
Spanish officials said the crew of a cargo ship refused repeated offers of assistance before it ran aground in strong winds near Algeciras on Wednesday night.
Although there were no injuries or pollution, the incident is the latest in a string of accidents and has once again put maritime safety under the spotlight in this region.
The 4000-tonnes Panama-flag Rhea, operated by Athens-based Blue Ocean Maritime, settled on a sandy beach near the Spanish port after dragging anchor.
The 26-year old ship had stopped at an anchorage off the port to take on water and was empty at the time of the casualty.
An investigation is under way and the vessel was detained by maritime authorities in Algeciras, who required the owner to post a E200,000 bond for its release.
No one at the Greek company could be reached for comment.
Efforts were under way to free the ship yesterday afternoon, with a Spanish state-owned salvage tug and local pilots in assistance.
The accident came just two days after officials from the governments of Gibraltar, Britain and Spain met to discuss cooperation on environmental matters including maritime safety.
This was a first contact within a wider framework that seeks to establish joint protocols to coordinate responses to shipping accidents and pollution at sea.
The Bay of Gibraltar has witnessed several major casualties in recent years, including the loss of the vessels New Flame and Fedra, which both ran aground off Gibraltar.
Last month, two Gibraltar-based bunker tankers rang aground on a beach in La Linea after dragging anchor in a severe storm.
As in this case, there was no pollution or injury but the incident nonetheless raised concerns among environmental campaigners on both sides of the border between Gibraltar and Spain.
They are worried about a sharp increase in shipping activity and are calling on maritime authorities in both countries to act urgently to tighten standards.
The Rhea was not the only incident as a result of winds of up to 100km per hour on Wednesday night.
A large tanker discharging crude into a monobuoy off a Cepsa refinery close to Algeciras had to abort the operation because of the adverse weather conditions.
Inside the port of Algeciras, tugs intervened after a cargo ship broke free of its moorings.

'Shrewd' Greeks bulk up on ships
--- A series of resale and secondhand purchases in both the dry and wet sectors are coming out of Greece.
A number of established Greek shipowners with a reputation for shrewd timing have started to buy and order tonnage, in one case after a long absence from the market.
Those making a move include families with a long association with shipping. Goulandris, Marinakis, Martinos and Konstandopoulos have opted to buy tankers, while E Nomikos has ended a 30-year-absence from the newbuilding market with an order for up to two 81,000-dwt bulkers with delivery in 2012.
Goulandris-controlled Cavodoro Shipping Corp and Evangelos Marinakis-led Capital Product Partners have picked up modern suezmax tankers and VLCCs, respectively, at contract prices below those paid by their original owners, indicating a drop in asset values since the end of the boom ( see story this page ).
Constantine Martinos-controlled Thenamaris and Pyxis, controlled by the Konstandopoulos family, have both bought products tankers from Turkey's Dunya this week for close to $15m cheaper than what they would have been sold for a few years ago ( see page 6 ).
E Nomikos has also taken advantage of lower bulker-newbuilding prices with orders for two at STX at $14m, less than what yards were quoting two years ago ( see story this page ).
Market observers say there is a certain degree of optimism among owners being fed by the current firm charter markets. A number of reports circulating among chartering brokers are adding to the positive outlook for 2010. Deutsch Bank says it expects a steady improvement in the tanker sector, with a forecast that VLCC rates will average at $45,000 per day day and suezmaxes at $35,000 per day for 2010. These levels, according to the bank's January report, represent an improvement of 23% and 30% from last year. The bank report states that continued macro-economic recovery justifies "modest" optimism for tankers this year but says the baseline demand drivers of the oil sector have yet to show sustainability.
One broker points out that the Greek owners are all shrewd operators known for making well-calculated investments.
Another broker says, however, that "fundamentally it does not make sense" for owners to buy ships at the moment. Neither tankers nor bulkers have reached historical low asset values. Newbuilding deliveries for 2010 will still create an oversupply that will push charter rates down in all sectors, he says, and asset values are due for another drop.
"I believe [the owners] are tired of waiting and they have to do something with all their cash, that is why they are buying," the broker said.
Meanwhile, plunging prices in the boxship sector are also attracting Greek interest (see page 13).
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 00:00 GMT, 29 Jan 2010 | last updated: 10:26 GMT, 29 Jan 2010

Merger mistrust
--- Greek shipowners have delivered an overwhelming vote against protection and indemnity club mergers following a debate organised by Piraeus Marine club.
Only a couple of club managers bravely argued that mergers could deliver economies of scale, improve service levels and reinvigorate the P&I system but owners appeared to strongly favour the diversity offered by the 13 International Group clubs.
And Lars Rhodin of the Swedish Club warned there was no correlation between size and efficiency. P&I was all about execution and value for money.
Debate chairman Lou Kollakis of Chartworld Shipping asked the packed Marine Club to vote on the basis that there would not be five megaclubs but a reduction to say ten P&I mutuals.
But a show of hands revealed overwhelming opposition to club mergers.
In a debate about reserving levels George Gourdomichalis of G Bros Maritime attacked regulators and rating agencies for telling shipowners how big club free reserves should be.
Gourdomichalis, an American Club director, suggested that the clubs collected a total of over $8bn of premium and had free reserves in excess of $2bn which meant there was a ratio of income to equity of 25%.
Gourdomichalis said that if shipowners wanted to own insurance companies they would invest in them.
By Jim Mulrenan in Piraeus
Published: 08:36 GMT, 29 Jan 2010 | last updated: 08:44 GMT, 29 Jan 2010

First MLC certificate awarded to Thenamaris
DNV has been working to develop a broad range of MLC services, including training, seminars, document reviews, gap analysis and certification (issuance of a declaration of voluntary compliance).

Public players hold the cards
--- The lesson from 2009 is that, when bank financing dries up, public companies have the edge over their private counterparts. Greg Miller reports
As dozens of shipping firms went public over the past half-decade, there was seldom a word uttered about how stock listings could offer solace in a slump.
A listing provides a vital lifeline: the ability to sell shares (albeit at depressing valuations) to raise cash and meet obligations.
Over two dozen global equity offerings raised around $7Bn (excluding restructurings with equity raised in exchange for renegotiated charter terms). The average offering size of $240M was inflated by the largest issues, such as ATMs by George Economou-led DryShips in the US market, as well as major issues by APM in Europe and NYK and NOL in Asia. Overall, most of the secondary share issues were smaller, in the $150M-or-lower category.
All indications are that follow-on offerings will continue apace this year. Far more uncertain is whether the once-lucrative shipping IPO window will re-open after slamming shut in 2009.
This development in the American market further buoyed a 2009 global shipping bond total that was already inflated by a record barrage of Asian issues.
Nearly 70 shipping bond offerings raised proceeds of around $12.7Bn worldwide last year (this total excludes port, yard and offshore issues).
The advantage of being public versus private is revealed once again in the bond arena. Investment banking sources told Fairplay that the public firms should generally obtain a more palatable (though still very high) coupon versus their private counterparts, due to greater transparency and their more established reputation among institutional investors.
Shipping players worldwide raised $20Bn or more from bonds and follow-ons combined last year, with public debt roughly twice as important as public equity. Whether this finance pattern continues or even accelerates this year hinges on whether commercial banks come back to the table to any material degree.
Although some shipping bank executives are pledging more capacity this year, several finance insiders told Fairplay that the outlook is not hopeful, particularly for the first half.
There are exceptions. Chinese banks are very active players for domestic interests, while the leading European shipping banks are providing capacity to existing clients.
2009 equity offerings
Issuer (*) Proceeds ($M)
APM 1,800
NYK 1,260
DryShips (2) 975
NOL 972
Nordic American (2) 238
Dockwise 200
Seaspan (2) 200
Teekay LNG (2) 155
Exmar 147
Navios Partners (3) 135
Golar LNG 120
Oceanfreight 112
Golden Ocean 110
Diana 101
Eagle Bulk 100
Paragon (2) 84
Teekay Tankers 69
Berlian Laju 60
Excel 46
DHT 39
FSL 29
FreeSeas 17
Total: 6,969
Average size: 240
Source: Company filings and published reports. Does not include shipyard, port or offshore offerings
* Bracketed number denotes number of issues (where more than one)
2009 bond offerings
Issuer (*) Proceeds ($M)
APM (2) 1,800
COSCO 1,464
NYK (2) 1,297
Hyundai MM (8) 900
China Shipping (2) 732
STX Pan Ocean (4) 690
Hanjin (11) 680
Mitsui OSK (2) 540
DryShips 460
NCL 450
Navios Holdings 400
Kawasaki KK 324
GenMar 300
Royal Caribbean 300
SK Shipping (4) 258
Seacor 250
MOL 221
United Maritime 200
Korea Line (7) 214
ACL 200
Euronav 150
Star Cruises 150
Hanjin 148
China Changjiang (2) 117
Odfjell 90
IM Skauge 83
Regional CL 75
Berlian Laju (5) 53
Total: 12,724
Average size:
Source: Company filings and published reports. Does not include shipyard, port or offshore offerings
* Bracketed number denotes number of issues (where more than one)
Source: Fairplay - Story of the Week 28 Jan 2010

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Green Star Reduces Fuel Consumption on Greek Maritime Ship
The tests were conducted using Green Star's Diesel Fuel Energizer (DFE) added to fuel tanks. Tests were performed on two Caterpillar Ship Engines Model 3412 (rated at 720 H.P. each) and also on two Caterpillar Generator Sets Model 3306 (rated 240 H.P. each). The test data indicates the shipping vessel reduced fuel consumption by an average of twelve percent (12%). The engines also showed decreased smoke emissions to a point where smoke was no longer visible. Also noted was a reduction of engine noise and increased power and performance. For further information on the TVT Product Line please see website
Mr. Panos Doukakis, a well known international investor, arranged for the test and stated that based on these results he is now arranging for a much larger scope of tests on several more vessels. Mr. Doukakis further stated that the TVT product line could be a tremendous opportunity for the Shipping Industry to reduce their emissions, smoke and fuel consumption. By cutting down petroleum use, the Shipping Industry could also reduce its carbon footprint (its CO2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions), which may qualify for international carbon credits that were approved at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen attended by President Barack Obama. Mr. Doukakis concluded that this could represent billions in savings for the Maritime Industry.
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