Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 09 - 2011


Ministerial decree backs experience to boost home flag

---In a move to ease the concern with Greek shipping over the shortage of Greek chief officers and chief engineers for oceangoing vessels, Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister, Yiannis Diamantidis has signed a ministerial decree which allows retired chief officers and engineers to work on Greek-flag vessels of over 3,000gt.
The law will certainly boost the Greek registry. The forced retirement of experienced relatively young officers has led to lack of chief officers, a major concern for Greek shipping companies since they were unable to raise the Greek flag without a Greek master on the bridge. As a result many companies chose experienced deck officers over flag and switched flag rather than lose senior officers, often considered to be in their prime.
Indeed, the decision is seen as the first of a number of legal moves to be tabled by the minister to boost the Greek industry. Diamantidis is expected to soon table a new law aimed at upgrading maritime education, although the question remains of where the extra appropriations for increasing the number of students entering the academies will come from.
The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) has already sent a comprehensive proposal to the ministry on the matter. Among other things, the shipowners have proposed a class curriculum, seminars for the teaching staff and the need for the diploma issued to captains and engineers be equivalent to those given by universities, as a way of generating interest among young Greeks in shipping.
The UGS suggests funds be made available to better equip current maritime schools and that this equipment should be the responsibility of the administrative entity, which is dedicated to shipping.
Source: www.Newsfront,gr - 4 March 2011 Vol. 12 / No. 9

Cosco-Piraeus tension threatens Greek park
---Piraeus and Cosco rift may jeopardise logistics park
After months of deliberation, the tender was expected to be finally announced on 28 February, and PPA has said its participation percentage in the consortium could be up to 20%.
Cosco, which operates Pier II of the box terminal and, until a few months ago, was evidently keen to also participate in the tendering process, is now showing signs of waning enthusiasm.
The creation of a logistics park near the port of Piraeus has been pursued by Greece for nearly three decades, but it never took off, primarily due to the lack of transport infrastructure links.
Source: Fairplay - Logistics and Supply Chain 03 Mar 2011

End of an era for Epirotiki
--- ---Friday 04 March 2011, 13:31 * by Nigel Lowry
A 1956-built cruise vessel that once operated under the Epirotiki Lines banner has been dispatched to the demolition yards
Epirotiki performed its first cruise in 1933 although its controlling Potamianos family could trace its shipping background as far back as 1830.
Two decades ago Epirotiki briefly fell under the spell of Carnival Cruises but regained its independence before merging with another rival to create Royal Olympic Cruises, which tottered on until about 2004.
The Potamianos family is still involved in shipping but appears to be done with cruising.
Masters Shipping brokered the deal that will consign the veteran 2,000-tonne vessel to scrap, but it must have been a bitter-sweet moment.
In all, he reckons that over the years his company concluded more than 40 sale and purchase deals for Epirotiki, which enjoyed its golden years in the 1960s and 1970s, but was also highly active in secondhand transactions during the 1980s.

Vardinoyannis expands with another tanker for Avin fleet
---Vardinoyannis Group of Greece is planning to increase its tanker fleet after buying its third ship in just under three months.
A company spokesperson confirms Avin International has bought the 150,000-dwt crude tanker Genmar Gulf (built 1991) and will rename it Kamari. The seller, US-listed General Maritime Corp (Genmar), reported the price in February at $11m for the Daewoo-built double-hull vessel.
In December, Avin was the successful bidder for the 6,430-dwt chemical/products tanker Golden Emerald (built 2008) when it was sold at auction. A sale price of $6m was reported at the time and the ship has since been renamed Sampatiki.
Before the latest additions, the Greek group quietly bought another tanker in the summer in an off-market deal. The 1,950-dwt chemical/products tanker Ermioni (ex-Elin Artemis, built 2005) went for an undisclosed price.
Avin is set to buy more ships but specific plans have not been revealed by the company. The group has a number of concurrent projects, a spokesperson says, and any decisions will depend on demand.
The expected fleet growth is in addition to six newbuildings being built by various yards in China, which will be delivered to Avin by the end of the year. One pair of 3,200-dwt chemical/products tankers are due from Fu An Dong Ming, while another identical pair of 3,200-dwt vessels and two products tankers of 6,250 dwt are under construction at Hubei Jiangyan Shipbuilding.
The ships are part of a larger portfolio of 10 small products tankers totalling just under 42,000 dwt ordered in China, two of which were delivered in 2009 and two in 2010.
Avin now controls a fleet of 16 chemical and products tankers and two suezmax crude-oil tankers, including the Genmar Gulf. The owner has mostly featured in reports as a seller in the past year and has now cleared out all of its older tonnage, having scrapped 10 tankers representing around 600,000 dwt according to estimations.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 23:01 GMT, 03 Mar 11 | updated: 20:18 GMT, 02 Mar 11