Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 13 - 2011
--- BEIJING (ANA-MPA) -- An interview by Maritime Affairs, Islands & Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis was rebroadcast by the China Business News (CBN) network, where the Greek minister is quoted as saying that a five-million-dollar credit line extended by Chinese banks towards Greek shipowners for shipbuilding may be increased to US$10 billion.
Diamantidis, who officially visited China in late February, met with government officials, bank executives and the leadership of Chinese multinational Cosco, a major concessionaire at the Port of Piraeus.
In other statements, Diamantidis was quoted as saying that Cosco plans to turn Piraeus into the biggest transit hub in the Mediterranean, while emphasising that China's overall investment interest has significantly aided in Greece's road to economic recovery. (ANA-MPA)
Source: Athens News Agency - 2 April 2011
Greeks hold steady in changing times
--- * Wednesday 30 March 2011, 14:13 * by Nigel Lowry
For delivery at the start of 2014, the vessel is understood to result from negotiations completed as long as a year ago with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, which agreed to turn a contract for a capesize bulk carrier into the large tanker.
Meanwhile, the Angelicoussis Shipping Group, which also has VLCCs on order at SWS, has been locked in some intense discussions of its own with its more regular VLCC builder, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
It has been trying to switch three VLCCs ordered by its Maran Tankers division for 2012 and 2013 to a pair of liquefied natural gas carriers for its Maran Gas Maritime arm. So far Daewoo has agreed one new LNG carrier, substituting one of the VLCCs.
These contrasting moves, by two groups perceived to be among the very steadiest and well-financed of Greek tanker players, hint at the ebb and flow of sentiment among owners over what has been a volatile recent period for the industry.
Nonetheless, it is clear that the country is not going to relinquish its leading place in the tanker trades any time soon. Recent years have seen the conversion to a newbuilding mentality of many Greek owners who built their initial fortune from tankers through astute secondhand dealings, and the result today is a fleet of impressive modernity. About 44% of Greek-owned tankers today are under five years of age, while 68% are under 10 years old.
Greeks have almost equal numbers of product and chemical tankers as they do crude oil tankers, and both wings of the tanker industry have seen considerable newbuilding contracting in recent years.
By comparison, Greeks control 587 product and chemical tankers, with a bias towards larger sizes. The fleet represents 8.7% of the world fleet in these sectors by number of ships and 13.1% of world capacity.
After a glut of deliveries in the past four years, though, Greek owners have put on the brakes, with a residual orderbook of 47 units, now reflecting just 6% of all newbuildings in the products and chemicals sector. It is now widely recognised that most Greek owners of any substance are long-term players, but that is by no means incompatible with a willingness to sell vessels on to modulate exposure to one sector or earn a profit, which is usually invested at a more opportune time.
Those deals were reported at average prices of about $68m-$69m, but the closer offers for brand new suezmaxes creep towards $80m, the more Greek owners would be ready to part with their vessels.
Gradual though it is, there has also been a trend for a smattering of leading tanker owners to seek to diversify into adjacent sectors, including LNG and liquefied petroleum gas carriers, shuttle tanker projects and the offshore sector.
Indeed, while 26 of the 182 VLCCs for delivery between now and 2014 are for Greek owners, this is trumped by a tally of 46 for Chinese state and private owners, with another nine listed as being for Taiwanese interests.
Athens, Summit: Building for the Future, to be April 6, 2011
---The Summit: Building for the Future, to be held in Athens, April 6, 2011, where interaction between shipyards, classification societies, ship owners and the panels drawn from the shipbuilders of the Far East and most importantly the audience (Members of the Hellenic and the International shipping communities), with whom they work, aims to provide the answers.
Ouhua wins box ship pair
---GREEK Shipowner Evalend Shipping has placed an order for two box ships at Chinese shipyard Zhejiang Ouhua.
The 4,800teu vessels are due for delivery during 2014. They follow on from an order placed last month for two ships of similar specification ordered by compatriot owner Thenamaris.
The post-Panamax ships, with a beam of 37.3m, will have a length overall of 250m and will be fitted with 600 reefer sockets.
Propulsion is provided by a single MAN B&W 6S80ME-C main engine which will provide a service speed of around 21kts.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 01 Apr 2011
China's Ex - Im leads stable of lenders in Danaos re-financing exercise
---John Coustas-led New York-listed container ship owner Danaos Corp has completed its debt re-financing with new deals worth $818m, fully funding its programme of 13 new vessels of 130,000teu through to mid-2012.
At least 15 lenders are involved led by Export-Import Bank of China consortium which is involved to the tune of $203m. Fourteen existing lenders have also stumped up $425m. Danaos was advised by Evercore Partners.
Piraeus-based Danaos said: "Repayment schedules, interest rate margins and covenants have been reset and harmonised with this new structure and provide a competitive and solid financing package until the end of 2018." Coustas added: "After a long period of negotiations Danaos is now back on track to continue with its growth strategy. What made this outcome possible was the commitment of the management and the faith that our lenders and partners have shown in us."
Coustas also stressed: "The strength of the container market combined with strong fundamentals further solidifies our position."
As a result of the completion of these financing arrangements, the exercise price of the 15m warrants Danaos has agreed to issue to its lenders, of which 11.2m were issued on March 17, 2011, has increased from $6 a share to $7 a share.
Danaos' current fleet of 52 container ships is aggregating 233,429teu and ranks Danaos among the largest container ship charter owners in the world.
-- Filed: 2011-04-01
GenMar receives olive branch
---(Apr 1 2011) Investment management company Oaktree Capital Management is to invest $200 milll for the right to own up to 20% of cash strapped General Maritime (GenMar).
Oaktree, the Los Angeles-based investor, will get warrants to buy up to 19.9% in GenMar at an initial exercise price of 1 cent per share.
New York-based GenMar was forced to delay filing its annual report because of its discussions regarding possible restructuring or refinancing of its borrowings, according to Reuters.
GenMar now plans to enter into a credit facility of about $550 mill this month and said related agreements may prohibit it from paying dividends and spending capital for two years.
The company also said that it had received commitments from two of its existing lead banks for $210 mill.
With a market value of under $200 mill, GenMar said in December that it had a $372 mill senior secured credit facility and a $750 mill revolving credit facility.
This move comes as the company revealed fourth quarter 2010 net losses of $167.2 mill and an EBITDA of just $11.8 mill.
Losses for the full year amounted to $216.7 mill net with an EBITDA of $92.2 mill.
On 10th February, GenMar announced that it had completed the sale and leaseback of three MRs giving the company net proceeds of $61.7 mill.
It said that it used part of the proceeds to repay a $22.8 mill bridging loan.
All of the proceeds will go towards repaying the debt under its 2005 credit facility, GenMar said.
INTERVIEW-Dry bulk ship glut to ease amid record scrap-Navios
---2011-03-28 18:30:12 GMT (Reuters)
* Disasters, non-deliveries spur excess ship capacity
* Could be record year for scrap
* A fifth of ships in industry over 20 years old
* Coal, natural gas, construction materials for Japan up
By Rene Pastor
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - A glut in ships which has depressed the dry bulk cargo industry over the last six months should gradually ease since a record number of aging ships could be scrapped, the head of Greek shipping company Navios Maritime said on Monday.
Natural and man-made disasters have forced many cargo ships to declare force majeure and the non-delivery of goods pushed many ships into the system, Navios Chairwoman and CEO Angeliki Frangou told Reuters in an interview in her New York office.
The disasters include near-Biblical floods in Australia, torrential rains in Indonesia and agricultural powerhouse Brazil, the quake and tsunami in Japan, and unrest in large swathes of the Middle East, she explained.
"The softness in the market is very much related to the severe weather," said Frangou.
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index <.BADI>, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, has halved in the last six months and languished just over 1,500 points, close to levels last seen in 2008 when the worst economic downturn since 1929 took place.
(Graph of .BADI index: http://r.reuters.com/saj78r )
She said about a fifth of the ships in the industry stand over 20 years old and the pace of scraping of ships should proceed at a very quick pace in 2011.
A total of 4.4 million tonnes has already been scrapped in the first two or so months of the year, compared with 5.8 million tonnes of scrap for all of 2010.
"This year could be a record year for scrap," she said. "It should be somewhere between 18 and 20 million tonnes."
The dry bulk industry will also see brisk business, especially from Asia, as demand for foodstuffs continued to increase, Frangou explained.
Coal, construction equipment and natural gas will receive a bump in shipments after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan crippled its Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Navios official said.
The long-term impact of the nuclear emergency in Japan is that it has changed perceptions about the safety of nuclear power, she said.
"Eventually, that will drive coal and natural gas (shipments) up," Frangou said. (Editing by Marguerita Choy)
Greek tanker operator implements trim optimisation
---(Mar 31 2011) Greek tanker operator Maran Tankers Management has begun its first installation of Eniram's Dynamic Trimming Assistant (DTA) technology on the VLCC vessel Maran Canopus.
DTA provides the bridge with a visual display of the optimum trim of the vessel, calculated in real-time and taking into account a range of affecting variables.
As affecting factors like weather, sea state, draft, speed and bunker levels change, so does the vessel's optimum trim. Using this dynamic optimum trim measurement the bridge can make adjustments to the vessel in order to stay within the optimum trim.
Staying within the optimum trim parameters can help the vessel to reduce bunker consumption for a given speed.
"With the installation of DTA onboard Maran Canopus we hope to achieve a fuel saving of between 2 and 4 per cent," said Miltiades Sfantsikopoulos, superintendent engineer at Maran Tankers.
"This could translate into US$200-400K savings in fuel per calendar year, as well as significant reduction in air emissions."
Maran Canopus currently operates on a worldwide spot basis; long voyage legs typically involve loading in the Persian Gulf, discharging in the Gulf of Mexico, ballast to West Africa and then loading for discharge in India followed by ballast conditions back to the Persian Gulf.
The company has previously proven to be an early adopter of energy efficiency initiatives and allocates significant resources to the continual improvement of the environmental performance of vessel operation.
Programmes the company have been involved with include vessel performance monitoring, training of seafarers and office personnel on best operational, environmental and energy management practices, and the deployment of other technologies and solutions on new vessels for improvement of energy efficiency and reduction of environmental impact.
"We hope that the Eniram system will prove to be a useful tool for further voyage performance optimisation," said Mr Sfantsikopoulos.
DNV: Dedicated energy efficiency group established in Piraeus
---Piraeus: DNV has established a dedicated environment and energy efficiency team to operate out of the Piraeus office in response to the increasing level of interest shown by shipowners in the region.
The team has begun providing introductory seminars to several shipping companies of the 700 shipowners in the region.
Date: 2011-03-29 Author: Per Wiggo Richardsen
Piraeus Union for Maritime Arbitration new Board of Directors April 2011
---The new Board of Directors of the Union for Maritime Arbitration (www.mararbpiraeus.eu), was constituted and consists of:
Mr Georgakopoulos Charalambos (President)
Mr Rakintzis Leandros (Vice President)
Mrs Pournara - Vardavilia Jenny (Secretary)
Mr Pentheroudakis Nikos (Treasurer)
Mr Avrameas Pavlos (Member)
Mr Capaitzis Dimitrios (Member)
Mr Tsavdaridis Antonios (Member)
Mrs Popi Lyrintzi (Member)
As is well known, the purpose of the Union is the development of the institution of maritime arbitration in Greece and especially in Piraeus.
The Piraeus Association for Maritime Arbitration
131, Notara Street
tel : +30 210 4292942, Fax:+30 210 4292948
185 36 Piraeus-Greece
e-mail : email@example.com
Web-site : www.mararbpiraeus.eu
The Person Responsible for Press Releases
Mrs Pournara - Vardavilia Jenny
Tel/fax: + 30 210 8672051
Source: Press Release, 1 April 2011
Plotting the piracy counter-strike
---The spread of piracy by using of motherships is meeting a growing impatience and tough talk from the industry
As piracy spirals out of control, the shipping industry is urging governments to launch a high-risk military response.
Two constituencies must be convinced for the mothership counter-strike to proceed: the owners whose crew and vessels will be endangered and the international governments.
Support is not unanimous in the industry. V. Ships president Roberto Giorgi told Fairplay he did not agree with disabling motherships. Rather, he favoured a plan for navy forces to tail motherships and prevent pirate skiffs departing from them.
The mothership plan is just the first step in a multi-pronged strategy. Step two, after the motherships are disabled, would be a blockade of the Somali coast, said Polemis.
Rapid shift to armed guards
Source: Fairplay - Trade 31 Mar 2011