Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 06 - 2011


Pirates hijack Greek oil tanker off Oman

---Allan Jacob, 10 February 2011
In the fourth such incident in the Arabian Sea in two months, a Greek tanker fell prey to the hijackers on Wednesday morning near the Omani coast.
Earlier, the Asssociated Press, quoting the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry, said the tanker carried 266,000 tonnes of crude oil and the 25-member crew included seven Greeks, 17 Filipinos and a Georgian. It earlier mistakenly identified one of the crew as Ukrainian.
The tanker was sailing from the Arabian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico. The ministry said it had lost contact with the ship.
The Piraeus-based shipping company, First Navigation Special Maritime Enterprises, confirmed its ship had been attacked but declined further comment.

England Mandates Greek Ship Owners to Relocate
---Posted on 08 February 2011 by Polina Dimea

In a year of vigiliance Greek shipping remains on course
---Renewal of the fleet has enable Greece to remain a major shipping power at a time that requires great vigilance, Theodoros Veniamis, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, told the union's agm, February 9. He said: "Year 2010 was one in which we could not relax our vigilance. Unstable chartering, continuation of the credit squeeze, a reduction of 350m tonnes in sea transportation demand as well as the political, monetary and geopolitical antagonisms all took a psychological toll on shipping."
He said: "There is pressure in the market because of the new shipbuilding ordersE that might reverse the law of supply and demandE Charter prices especially at the end of 2010 increased those fearsE"
Still, Veniamis found a silver lining noting "the international crisis seems to have quietened down and China, India and SE Asia in general are developing fast and can be the engine for the economy over the next decade". However, he said "we will have to wait to see if the scrapping of old ships will increase and bring some balance in tonnage".
"In such a fluid environment Greek shipping managed to retain its powerE by renewing its fleetE and to increase the number of Greek registered ships. About 3,000 Greek-owned ships of 180m dwt are successfully sailing the seas because they offer improved technology and are under management combining tradition, know-how and innovation," he said.
He noted Greece accounts for 40% of the EU shipping capacity and 15% of the world's and that Bank of Greece reports shipping income covers 6% of Greece's GNP comparing to 1% average for the 27 EU countries. "In the first 11 months of 2010 Greek shipping brought Euro14.2bn into the country, comparing to Euro 12.3bn the same time in the previous year, an increase of 15.37%. Another positive is that in these hard times over 1,300 companies are established in Greece managing fleets," he said
Attacking the government, Veniamis said: "I would like to point out all these positive developments exist despite the abolishment in October 2009 of the Merchant Marine ministryE three ineffectual government experimentations and worst of all, since last November, the demilitarisation of shipping's administration. It is a strange fixation of 'theoretical amateurism'E I told the parliamentary committee Greek shipping expects the re-establishment of the merchant marine ministryE and the Hellenic Harbour Corps to return to their previous dutiesE as part of a unified national shipping policy inside and outside of Greece's borders."
"In all the difficult hours our nation has faced, the ship was on course to success and developmentE The Chinese cooperation of last year, cumulated with the visit of China's prime minister, explains why we are proudE for Greek shipping being the first sector to start cooperating with a world superpowerE Being the most extrovert business sector, shipping can be the spearhead of economic progressE The example of Cyprus, which holds the tenth place in world shipping thanks to a systematic and inspired policy, is not far away from us".
-- Filed: 2011-02-10

A small fleet with designs on the world
---A Greek player is striking out on his own with a fledgling fleet of products tankers.
The name Papachristidis is almost synonymous in shipping with that of Hellespont, the company founded in 1946 by Phrixos B Papachristidis.
But today, his great nephew, Alexander Papachristidis-Bove, while maintaining his position as managing director of Piraeus-based Hellespont Steamship Corp, has branched out and set up a company of his own, with no other family members involved.
Pan-Regional Marine Transportation Corp, the somewhat tongue-twisting name Canadian-born Papachristidis-Bove has chosen for his venture, was founded in 2006 but only acquired its first ship in 2008.
Today, Pan-Regional owns three small chemical tankers, all under the management of Hellespont Steamship Corp.
The latter was mistakenly reported as having been sold by Hellespont back in December, when in fact it had been bought.
After a stint in the corporate-finance department of Merrill Lynch, Papachristidis-Bove joined the family business permanently in 1995 and has held several positions in the Hellespont group.
So, at first sight the choice of the small chemical/products-tanker sector seems unusual for someone involved with a group that built and operated ultra large crude carriers (ULCCs) in the 1990s.
With the current modest fleet his plans are nothing if not ambitious. When asked about them, his irrepressible sense of humour briefly takes over.
Small vessels require a lot of attention, Papachristidis-Bove adds, but they fit into the requirements of the oil majors and the sector is underbuilt.
He calculates the world orderbook for the 5,000-dwt to 10,000-dwt segment up to 2013 is 275 vessels, based on shipyard figures.
Additionally, there are very few large players in this market, leaving an opening for a company that can provide a global service by strategically placing a number of ships in various geographical locations, he believes.
Papachristidis-Bove says he and his colleagues have taken everything they learned from running big tankers and have brought it to the small-tanker market. He feels it is essential to be reliable when dealing with the oil majors, to live up to commitments and responsibilities.
While the ambition is there, the owner admits that for a small company like his it is very difficult to grow because, following the financial collapse of 2008, there is no equity finance or debt finance available.
But despite his upbeat attitude, Papachristidis-Bove has already taken one hard knock.
He explains that a Paraguayan charterer subcontracted a fuel-oil contract to another Paraguayan company, to which it chartered the Pan Adventure.
Through an internal error the ship was discharged prior to receiving payment, leaving about $100,000 in freight and some $150,000 in demurrages outstanding since September, Papachristidis-Bove says.
He is incensed by the fact that even his own lawyers have advised him not to seek recourse.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 23:01 GMT, 10 Feb 11 | updated: 20:37 GMT, 09 Feb 11

Greek Tiger Lines set to make direct call in Subic
---TIGER Lines will make regular calls at the Port of Subic, the third shipping line to do so.
In its recent launch at the Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc, Clark Freeport Zone, Tiger Lines officials met with locators, brokers, exporters, importers and freight forwarders to discuss their company profile, as well as plans and prospects for growth in Subic Bay.
The officials cited the advantages in calling Subic, including the port's 600,000 twenty-equivalent unit (TEUs) capacity, four brand-new cranes that can process 100 TEUs per hour, quick turnaround time, low tariff rates, and the presence of many industries in the Subic and Clark freeport zones that import raw materials and export finished products.
Tiger Lines hopes the establishment of a new container line out of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp (SBITC) will lead to the full use of the Subic Bay container port.
Officials noted that the presence of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, convenient feeder roads, and lack of truck bans open a large market for the line's business in neighboring provinces.
"We will meet the import and export shipping needs of North and Central Luzon regardless of the port of call," said Tiger Lines Director, Project Manager Nikos Vomvogiannis.
The launch was also attended by Tiger Lines Asia Pacific Director Yorgos Psinakis, Avin Group Chartering Executive Director George M. Konstantakos, Ambassador of Greece to the Philippines Xenia Stefanidou, SBITC General Manager Reimond Silvestre, Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Chief of Staff Linda Pamintuan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Officer-in-Charge, Senior Deputy Administrator for Aviation and Maritime Operations Redentor Tuazon, and SBMA Seaport Department Head Capt. Perfecto Pascual.
Pamintuan welcomed the development saying, "This is a major step in the pursuit of our vision for a globally competitive mega logistics hub centered in the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Corridor."
In operation for almost 40 years, Tiger Lines owns, manages and operates a fleet of ships consisting of one VLCC, two Suezmaxes, eight product tankers and nine small product tankers. It has plans to bolster its line with modern product tankers, modern Suezmaxes or Aframaxes, dry cargo ships and container ships.
Tiger Lines operates under AVIN International Group, a Greek company with extensive interests in oil exploration, refinery and distribution, real estate, banking and even professional football.
At the Tiger Lines briefing for Subic shippers were from left SBITC General Manager Reimond Silvestre, Tiger Lines Asia Pacific Director Yorgos Psinakis, SBMA Seaport Department Head Capt. Perfecto Pascual, Avin Group Chartering Executive Director George M. Konstantakos, Greek Ambassador Xenia Stefanidou, Tiger Lines Project Manager Nikos Vomvogiannis, SCAD COS Linda Pamintuan, and Senior Deputy Administrator for Aviation and Maritime Operations Redentor Tuazon.
At the Tiger Lines briefing for Subic shippers were from left SBITC General Manager Reimond Silvestre, Tiger Lines Asia Pacific Director Yorgos Psinakis, SBMA Seaport Department Head Capt. Perfecto Pascual, Avin Group Chartering Executive Director George M. Konstantakos, Greek Ambassador Xenia Stefanidou, Tiger Lines Project Manager Nikos Vomvogiannis, SCAD COS Linda Pamintuan, and Senior Deputy Administrator for Aviation and Maritime Operations Redentor Tuazon.

NEL Lines Joins Forces with Turkish Company
---Posted on 11 February 2011 by Apostolos Papapostolou
Turkish company Rhea Venture Capital Investment Trust Inc. and Greek NEL Lines joined forces with hopes to acquire The Istanbul Fast Ferries Co. Inc., or IDO.
NEL Lines is a Greek maritime company operating cruiseliners, fast ferries, RO-PAX and RO-RO ships in the Aegean and Adriatic seas.
Another info note posted at KAP said RML Logistics and Maritime Services, a subsidiary of Rhea, signed a deal to purchase a Greek company running RO-RO and RO-PAX ships between Igoumenitsa port in Greece and Brindisi port in Italy.

GenMar concludes tanker sales
(Feb 11 2011)
This sale is expected to generate net proceeds of $11 mill and will close by 28th February.
The company said that it intended to use net proceeds from the sale of both vessels, which are expected to total around $18.5 mill, to pay down debt under its $750 mill revolving credit facility.
GenMar also has options to repurchase the three product tankers at previously announced price levels.

--- * Wednesday 09 February 2011, 16:15 * by Nigel Lowry
London-based Greek shipping group say fuel levy is the more suitable option to cut carbon emission
A STRAIGHT fuel oil levy on all ships has been given cautious backing by the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee as the least harmful option among market based mechanisms for cutting carbon emissions from the world fleet.
But this was on the proviso that any mechanism should be designed and implemented by the International Maritime Organization and any revenue resulting should be directed by the IMO, and purely for environmental benefit.
However, the GSCC reserved its full support for the technical and operational efficiency measures currently being discussed at the IMO. These could reduce maritime emissions by 15%-30%, it said.
It still is not in favour of an MBM for shipping, but would support a solution agreed at IMO that met its other criteria.
It continued waving the flag for shipping as the most environmentally friendly transport mode, carrying 90% of world trade but producing only about 2.7% of carbon emissions globally.
Under an IMO-directed scheme, funds should not be channelled to governments or other agencies, said the committee.
Saving most of its apprehension for emissions trading schemes, the committee said such schemes invited profiteering and even fraud.
Gains and losses would pass between counterparts with no benefit whatsoever to the environment, the committee argued.
Advantages of a fuel oil levy included ease of administration and, through applying equally to all flags and ships, would preserve a level playing field in the industry.
According to the GSCC, any solution favouring some flag states over others would not be appropriate, especially due to mobility of ship registration in the sector.
Environmental advantages of a levy, said the GSCC, included giving certainty to the price of carbon as opposed to fluctuating market prices under emissions trading schemes.
With a stable price, the costs could be passed on by shipowners to charterers and down the chain to consumers, thus affecting the pattern of trade in a manner that would reduce tonne-mile demand and thus emissions.
Certainty on the cost would also encourage slow steaming, further reducing fuel consumption, the committee said.