Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 35 - 2010


Government moving towards radical ovcerhaul of port structure

--- The Finance and the Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping ministries have reached a political agreement on a radical new port policy for Greece. The respective ministers, Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Louka Katseli, have agreed to float a plan devised by former Marine minister and current Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) president and ceo, Giorgos Anomeritis, which sees the country's largest ports being combined into four all-embracing holding companies, chunks of which will be sold to the public.
Under the plan, the Attica ports of Lavrion, Rafina and Elefsina will be merged into the PPA 'umbrella' which becomes a holding company. The Ionian sea port system of Igoumenitsa, Corinth and the Ionian islands will come under the Patras Port Authority (OLPa); the north Aegean ports including Volos, Kavala and the emerging oil terminal port of Alexandroupolis, will come under the Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTh); and the southern Aegean ports, like Chania and the islands, will be part of the Heraklion Port Authority (OLH).
According to Anomeritis' proposal, which can most easily be implemented for the PPA and OLTh as both are already on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), the state will buyout or merge the various other port authorities, a move which will see its stakeholding rise to at least 90% of each of the four holding companies, with the target of subsequently reducing this stake to a controlling 51%.
In other words, the Greek government will seek to raise money by selling stock in the four new entities.
The state is to try and "sell the plan" as part of a "total and rational port plan" and is hoping to develop closer cooperation between ports and in parallel improve port services. The ambitious plan will examine the development of the port and the local and metropolitan area it serves, looking at roads, railways and port infrastructure before deciding what needs to be built or improved. This includes links with the country's major road and rail networks, like the Egnatia and Ionia highways, extension of the railroad into the port of Piraeus, and the extension of the metro rail system to Lavrion.
In the meantime, the PPA has announced positive results for the first half of 2010. Earnings were Euro 64.31m ($81.7m) up from the Euro 61.07m ($77.6m) last year. Profits before taxes were Euro 2.19m, down from Euro 3.23m in the same period last year, but net profit was Euro 1.645m up from 2009's Euro 233,000.
A big increase of 42% was seen in business at the car terminal, especially in the movement of in transit vehicles, which was up 163%. At the sametime, the PPA's container terminal -- pier I -- was closed while being upgraded causing a negative effect in the results.
With all sectors performing better, Greece's second port, Thessaloniki has announced a 7% increase in business in the first half of 2010 compared to the same time last year. However, despite this, OLTh's profits before taxes were down 58.75% from $6.36m to $2.625m, while profits after taxes were down 77.52% from $4.633m to $1.042m.
-- Filed: 2010-08-31

Hellenic Register left in limbo
* Wednesday 01 September 2010 * by Nigel Lowry and Justin Stares
A question mark now hangs over existing Hellenic certificates.
Hellenic was early last year put on probation and given time to rectify numerous weaknesses but was not authorised to issue new certificates in the interim.
An emergency meeting today between society officials and minister Michalis Chrysohoidis ended without immediate result.
Exchanges between the Brussels institutions suggested a final decision was expected in August.
In a statement, Hellenic said it had met all the required improvements set by the EC last year under the terms of its limited recognition for issuing certificates to internationally trading vessels.

The mixed fleet outfit has not, however, missed the boat on boxship acquisitions as second-hand containership prices continue to rise, claimed commercial director John Dragnis.
London-listed Goldenport has just unveiled a loss-making first half on the back of waning revenues from a shrunken operating fleet and slightly lower freight rates. But it still has a large amount of cash burning a hole in its pocket after a recent $35m share sale and raising $50m in additional financing.
Asked what the Greek plans to do with the cash, Dragnis told TradeWinds in a telephone interview on Tuesday that its plans are very much the same as before: to target mainly smaller boxship.
When Goldenport does get around to splurging its cash it may find it gets a little less bang for its buck than even six months ago as it wrote on Tuesday that second-hand boxship prices have soared 33% since the start of the year.
Dragnis, however, insists that the company has not missed the boat, pointing to the acquisition of the 4,700-teu NYK Procyon (renamed MSC Socotra, built 1995) for $10.5m in early 2009 as an example of a purchase in the down cycle.
By Eoin O'Cinneide in London
Published: 09:38 GMT, 31 Aug 10 | updated: 09:42 GMT, 31 Aug 10

Economou adds to Suezmax orderbook
---GREEK Shipowner Cardiff Marine has placed a new order for two Suezmax tankers at South Korean shipyard Samsung HI.
The 158,000dwt ships are due for delivery in 4Q 2013. No price has been disclosed for this contract.
This is the third new order to have been placed by the George Economou-led shipowner this year. In May Cardiff Marine contracted a trio of Suezmax tankers at Chinese shipyard Jiangsu Rongsheng whilst last month it signed up for two VLCCs at the same yard.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 02 Sep 2010

Shell opts for Crude Carriers' Suezmaxes
---(Sep 3 2010). Crude Carriers Corp has chartered another two crude oil tankers to Shell Trading & Shipping under spot-related timecharter terms.
Shell has taken the Suezmaxes 'Amoureux' (150,393 dwt, built 2008) and 'Aias' (150,096 dwt, built 2008) under spot index-related timecharters for a period of about 12 months (+/- 30 days) each.
Under the terms of the agreements, the minimum base rate received by the vessels is the monthly average of the Baltic Dirty Tanker Route 5 (TD5) (West Africa - US East Coast), one of the main spot Suezmax trading routes.
In addition, both charters are also subject to a profit sharing arrangement, settled quarterly, allowing the company to receive 50% of any additional revenues earned by the vessels in excess of the index related minimum base rate over the period that the actual voyage took place.
The 'Amoureux' and the 'Aias' commenced their employment with Shell on 11th August and 28th August, respectively.
In addition, the company has appointed Karsten Djuve as chief commercial officer as of 1st September, 2010.
Djuve has 17 years of experience in the shipping industry and comes to the company after six years spent as regional chartering manager for the Americas at BP, where he was responsible for chartering of foreign flag tankers in all segments including VLCC and Suezmaxes

Salamis lines RoRo service from Israel to call at Lavrion port near Piraeus
---Aug 30, 2010. Due to the reforms being undertaken by the Piraeus port authorities the ro/ro services operated by Salamis Shipping Services Ltd. will call at Lavrion port rather than Piraeus
A.ROSENFELD SHIPPING LTD. General agent for Salamis Shipping Services Ltd., Issued a press release noting that due to the reforms being undertaken by the Piraeus port authorities the ro/ro services operated by Salamis Shipping Services Ltd. will call at Lavrion port rather than Piraeus.
Lavrion port is located 72 Km south of Piraeus on the Greek mainland and 32 Km from Athens International Airport. Lavrion (or Laurium) lies in Egasteria Bay.
Zeri Rosenfeld, managing director of A, Rosenfeld Shipping noted that Lavrion port is ready to provide an equivalent level of service to Piraeus and in particular in customs clearing services. Rosenfeld added that the port is located near a new and modern highway which has an advantage in moving trailers overland.

Piraeus Port Authority: Financial Reports For The First Half 2010
Provisions from staff V.R.P 3.940
Provisions for pending lawsuits 1.648
Provisions for doubtful debts 1.105
Remuneration of Memorandum of Agreement 800
Other provisions 100 7.593