Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 15 - 2011
> Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister Yiannis Diamantidis addressed a Piraeus Marine Club working luncheon on April 14 leading discussions on the Greek maritime industry as a growth tool. The minister addressed issues, covering the industry's administration, and its priorities towards maritime education, protecting the environment and attracting tonnage to the home flag.
> Apostolos Ventouris was re-elected president of the Union of Marine Enterprises (EEN) during a union egm, April 13, with the elections the only item on the agenda. The rest of the 14-member board are: Antonis Agapitos, vp ferries; Aimilios Potamianos, vp cruise ships; Manolis Galanakis, vp ropax international lines; Theologos Panagiotakis, vp small ferries; Ioannis Avrantinis, vp roros; Antonis Vamvakidis, vp yachting sector; Dimitris Triantafyllou, vp one-day trip vessels; Adamantios Krasanakis, general secretary; Evangelos Ventouris, treasurer; and members: Nikolaos Kardaris, Emanouil galanos, Athanasios Klenis and Athanasios Tziamouranis. - See 'From the Marketplace'
> Angeliki N Frangou, chairman and ceo of Navios Shipmanagement has been elected to serve a three-year term on the council of classification society ABS. Among the 23 people subsequently elected by the council to serve five-year terms as ABS members were: Ted C Petrone, president, Navios Corp, and Constantine (Gus) Proios, director of engineering, Admanthos Shipping. "Classification is the principal self regulating mechanism for the marine and offshore industries," said ABS chairman Robert D. Somerville. "The insight, experience and collaboration from ABS Members contributes to the process of developing practical, impartial and authoritative standards that promote the safety of life, property and the environment."
> Honoring the memory of Maria P Tsakos, its former general secretary, Helmepa organised on the island of Chios an environmental exhibition titled Lets Change HabitsEnot the Climate. The exhibition, hosted by the International Centre of Maritime Research and Tradition 'Maria Tsakos', was inaugurated in an emotionally charged atmosphere, April 9, by Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, Helmepa chairman John Coustas, the Mayor of Chios P. Lamprinoudis, vc of the European Parliament Rodi Kratsa and members of Helmepa. The exhibition will be visited by 1,500 students to be transferred at Helmepa's expense with their teachers from all primary schools of Chios and the neighbouring island of Oinousses, in cooperation with the department of Primary Education of Chios. Scientific personnel from Helmepa will address the children on climate change, the sources of its creation and the effects it has on life on earth. Construction of the exhibition received significant support from Helempa's deputy treasurer Michalis Dalakouras, and Panos Laskaridis with provision of photographic and information material, and Chandris (Hellas) which provided accommodation for Helempa staff. Maria P Tsakos worked to promote environmental programmes for the motivation of the younger generation.
> Greek passenger vessel operator Minoan Lines has achieved environmental and health and safety certification for its company-wide operations in accordance with ISO standards. At a ceremony at Minoan Line's hq in Piraeus, April 7, Ugo Salerno, ceo of classification society RINA, presented ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certificates to Antonis Maniadakis, ceo and md of Minoan. Salerno said, "At RINA we are committed to working with quality and safety-minded shipping companies, helping them to achieve international certification for their activities. Minoan Lines is a good example of that."
> On the initiative of European Commissioners for Environment, Janez Potocnik, and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, an informative meeting took place April 8 at the office of the European Parliament, in Athens, regarding the pollution of the Mediterranean with plastics and other types of marine litter. Representatives of the Greek and European parliaments, industry and non-governmental organisations attended the meeting, during which Helmepa presented in brief the many-years long work of the association for the awareness-raising of Greek seafarers and the wider public regarding marine litter. Recognition of the efforts of Helmepa members, seafarers and companies to proactively implement the international legislative requirements regarding on-board waste management even when reception facilities are not available, was made and it was recognised that non-integrated land-based waste management and the lack of an environmentally responsible behaviour constitute the most important factors that contribute to the worsening of this problem. The commissioners undertook a commitment this meeting was the beginning towards the adoption of a number of initiatives in their field of competence, such as the strengthening of research on the concentration and impacts of plastic litter, implementation of pilot projects, recovery of litter from the sea surface by fishing vessels as well as changes in the legislative framework.
> The Greek Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) organised a meeting, April 14, at the auditorium of Maran Tankers Inc,Eduring which Maria Kyratsoudi, FOBAS specialist of Hellenic Lloyd's, spoke on the subject of O'Fuel Regulations and the Environment - SOx Emission Control and Quality of Marine Fuels ISO 8217:2010'. Marpol Annex VI aims at delivering a significant reduction in ship emissions' contribution to acidification and consequently improving air quality.
> Presentation of the book, 'I Choose Shipping: Young men and women in the naval and shipping professions' by Thanos Pallis and Elias Bissias on April 7, at the Laskaridis Library in Piraeus, was used by George Gratsos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (HCS); foundation president, Panos Laskaridis, who is also general secretary of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) and lawyer Gregory Timagenis to comment on the state of Greek shipping generally. Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, spoke about a plan of the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Imo to create a Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). She expressed the hope it would be eventually based in Athens.
> On the occasion of the inauguration of the new Honorary Consulate of Italy in Piraeus, the ambassador of Italy, Francesco Paolo Trupiano, and the honarary consul of Italy in Piraeus, Mauro Renaldi, who is md of V.Ships Greece Ltd, hosted a reception on board the flagship of Costa Crociere, the Costa Pacifica, on April 13, while the ship was berthed in Piraeus. The event marked the re-opening of the consulate after financial restrictions forced its closure two years ago. During the reception, both the ambassador and the consul stressed a growing interest in Greece and Italy on promoting tourism to Greece and cruising in the East Mediterranean. The 114,500gt, 3,780-passenger Costa Pacifica, built in 2009 is the largest cruise ship to come out of Italy and the largest flying the Italian flag. The consulate is located at: 10 Ant. Ambatielou & Sachtouri Streets, 185 36 Piraeus, Tel: 210 4294 537
> The Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister Yiannis Diamantidis and ministry officials met, April 12, with German deputy minister of Transportation, Planning and Regional Development, Klaus-Dieter Schuerle who was accompanied by officials from his ministry and the German embassy in Athens, to discuss maritime policy. Topics on the agenda were: EU's new 'white bible on transportation'; the social agenda on education and employment; climatic change; tackling piracy; implementation of shipping's vesting interests in the EU; and revision of regulations concerning the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
> Italian classification society, RINA held the first meeting for 2011 of its Hellenic Technical Committee (RINA HTC) on April 5 at the Zinc restaurant, Marina Flisvos. Currently co-chaired by Akis Tsirigakis and Teo Baltatzis, the meeting focused on RINA services in relation to oil majors' ship and company assessments and to the energy management on board. Stefano Bertilone, RINA gm of Europe and Africa, presented the latest developments of RINA; Spyridon Zolotas, RINA country manager for Greece, referred to the 20% increase of RINA's Greek-controlled fleet and the society's leading position in the Greek passenger ferry market. Creation of a dedicated yachting team within Piraeus office is one of the latest developments in RINA Hellas and enables the society to better serve the local market in a field where RINA is traditionally strong. Dino Cervetto, head of RINA technical services, presented some of the services offered in relation to the vetting inspections and Andrea Cogliolo, manager of the RINA machinery, electrical, automation and risk analysis, illustrated energy management on board and ways to improve efficiency in that respect. Various solutions and different technologies were presented, along with their impact to the operational and financial management of vessels by the ship operators.
> A two-day symposium on ports of Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea and their potential as transhipment hubs connecting sea and land in the freight supply chain, took place during the 'Ports and Hubs' expo held at the exhibition and conference centre in Faliron, April 13 - 14.
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 15 April 2011 Vol. 12 / No. 15
Greek Shipowners Union on piracy
--- Greek Shipowners Union (EEE) President Nikos Efthymiou, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, termed piracy a curse, adding that piracy has preoccupied the EEE a great deal, as well as many countries.
As the result of an initiative by the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) secretary general Mitropoulos and the UN, an effort has begun and there has been considerable activity to tackle the problem.
In parallel, the European Union has also become sensitised over the problem, while the Greek government was among the first to send a warship to the region where there is an upsurge of the phenomenon and now the Greek government is participating in the EU's operation "Atalanta" to combat piracy, he added.
Efthymiou also referred to the economic crisis, stressing that it is affecting shipping, but shipping has no responsibility for it since it is a crisis of the international monetary system. The violent collapse of dry cargo markets, as he said, is the result of reduced consumption.
Greek pair in first-ever box orders
---The bug has bitten with an Embiricos arm and Eastern Mediterranean signing up for two ships each.
Two Greek companies have placed their first-ever containership-newbuilding orders as Greek box fever continues.
The Embiricos ships are said to be costing at least $72m each and perhaps in excess of $75m. They are slated for delivery at the start of 2013. The order is understood to include two options.
However, sources are pouring cold water on reports that were also linking Embiricos to an even bigger $400m deal at STX Dalian for four 9,000-teu vessels to be taken on charter by Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC).
Embiricos first dipped its toes in the secondhand-boxship market with a six-month shopping spree at the end of 2009 and 2010.
The other container-newbuilding debutant is EastMed.
Thanassis Martinos confirms the order. The ships are costing $28.25m apiece for delivery in 2013.
EastMed, which has traditionally operated a mixed fleet of tankers and bulkers, took its first punt in the sector at the tail end of 2009, paying a reported $15.5m for the Guangzhou Wenchong-built, 1,740-teu Elbella (ex-Sea Eagle, ex-Viking Eagle, built 2006).
Now he says the company has been very pleased with the ship, prompting it to commission its first order at the Chinese yard.
In January, the company firmed up an order at Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding for a pair of 4,800-teu ships for delivery in 2013. They are believed to be costing around $57m each.
Thenamaris had been linked to an order for two 2,500-teu vessels at Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding but company sources confirm it had been impossible to finalise the deal.
Other Greek owners are also making moves.
Evalend Shipping, headed up by Kriton Lendoudis, made its first move in the sector last month.
It signed up for a pair of 4,800-teu vessels at Zhejiang Ouhua for delivery in 2014 at a similar price to the Thenamaris pair.
But enthusiasm for container tonnage has not been confined to the newcomers.
Yet another Greek owner to enter the boxship fray this year was Tsakos Group, which inked contracts for a pair of 4,700-teu wide-beam ships at Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co in South Korea, while at the beginning of February, New York-listed Costamare announced an order for two 9,000-teu vessels at the same yard.
By Gillian Whittaker, Ian Lewis and Irene Ang Athens, Genoa and Singapore
Published: 22:01 GMT, 14 Apr 11 | updated: 20:47 GMT, 13 Apr 11
Box Ships prices IPO below the range at $12, sells more shares
---4/13/11. Box Ships Inc., a newly formed Greek containership owner backed by Paragon Shipping, raised $132 million on Wednesday by offering 11 million shares at $12, 25% below the midpoint of the originally-proposed $15 to $17 range. However, the company sold 10% more shares than previously expected. Box Ships will begin trading Thursday on the NYSE under the symbol TEU. UBS Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley acted as lead managers on the deal.
Maersk Sells Three Ships to Diana for Leaseback
---Peter T. Leach | Apr 14, 2011 2:30PM GMT, The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
Carrier agrees to 24-month charters with options to extend
Diana Containerships, a NASDAQ-listed owner of container ships for charter, said Thursday it agreed to buy three Maersk Line Panamax vessels, one from Maersk Line UK and two others from A.P. Moller Singapore.
Under the memoranda of agreement, Maersk Line will then charter back the three vessels, the Maersk Madrid, the Maersk Malacca and the Maersk Merlion, at a daily rate of $21,450 for a minimum period of 24 months, with options for another 12 months at a daily rate of $25,000.
The purchase price for the Maersk Madrid, which was built in 1989 and has a capacity of 4,206 20-foot equivalent units, is $22.5 million.
The purchase price for the Maersk Malacca and the Maersk Merlion, which were both built in 1990 and have capacities of 4,714 TEUs, is $24 million apiece. The expected dates of delivery for all three vessels are between May 20 and June 20.
Diana Containerships is an affiliate of Diana Shipping, the NYSE-listed dry bulk ship owner that spun off 80 percent of its majority-owned container shipping unit through a separate listing on NASDAQ at the beginning of 2011.
Diana said the charter arrangements for the three ships are expected to generate approximately $43.5 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charters.
Diana said it expects to buy the ships with its own cash and a bank loan that it is negotiating.
Frangou loses FFA fight
---A UK JUDGE has ruled in favour of bankrupt Atlas Bulk in its dispute with Angeliki Frangou-led Navios over FFA set-offs.
When Atlas Bulk filed for Danish bankruptcy protection in December 2008, its FFA contracts defaulted, requiring gains and losses to be tallied.
At that time, Navios and Atlas Bulk had three FFAs, resulting in $2.1M in losses by Navios due to be paid to Atlas Bulk.
Separately, Navios had an FFA with Atlas Shipping, under which Navios was due to be paid $1.5M. Navios refused to pay Atlas Bulk trustees the $2.1M, believing it had the right to set-off the $1.5M under the Atlas Shipping contract.
In addition, Navios entered a separate FFA transaction after Atlas Bulk went bankrupt. A company called Global Maritime Investments held an FFA with Atlas Bulk, under which Atlas Bulk owed GMI $2M.
Navios bought the contract off GMI for $500,000 in June 2010.
According to the new UK court ruling reviewed by Fairplay, the judge decided that Navios does not have the right to set off its $2.1M debt to Atlas Bulk, either with its Atlas Shipping FFA or the FFA contract it purchased from GMI.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 14 Apr 2011
Source: Freshly Minted Weekly, www.marinemoney.com, 14 April 2011
Aegean Bunkering decides for GL fleet management software
---Wednesday, 13 April 2011-
In order to improve their strategic and operational ship management activities, Greek oil and shipping company Aegean Bunkering Services decided to implement Germanischer Lloyd's fleet management software suite GL ShipManager and GL FleetAnalyzer.
Germanischer Lloyd's software unit GL Maritime Software will provide its integrated ship / fleet management software for 52 vessels of Aegean Bunkering's fleet. Aegean Bunkering will install the Technical Management and Procurement System of the GL ShipManager suite in their offices and onboard their vessels. The modules will enable the company to manage their tasks more time and cost efficiently, provide increased transparency of all vessel data and help to keep operations in line with industry requirements such as ISM and TMSA. With the addition of GL FleetAnalyzer, powerful reporting and analysis of the entire fleet is possible.
Aegean Bunkering is part of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., a leading international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies marine fuel to ships in port and at sea. The Company procures products from various sources, including oil producers and traders, and resells to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors. Aegean Bunkering owns and operates one of the largest double-hull bunkering fleets in the world and is expanding its fleet to further enhance their industry-leading position.
Aegean undertakes to acquire only high quality vessels that meet new industry and environmental standards. For its commitment to environmental management, Aegean Bunkering has been awarded a certificate in accordance with the international ISO 14001:2004 standard from Germanischer Lloyd. The quality of all vessels shall be preserved by emphasizing maintenance programs supported by comprehensive software systems.
Germanischer Lloyd (GL) offers classification services of plan approval, inspection and certification of materials and components as well as technical assessments of ships in service. Within its newly formed "Maritime Solutions" unit, GL supports customers around the world through software solutions, management systems certification and training as well as consulting and engineering services that are provided under the brand "FutureShip". GL's experts serve as advisors to governments, the IMO, flag and port states. The group is committed to a smarter, safer and greener future of shipping.
Safe Bulkers, Inc. Announces Closing of its Public Offering of Common Stock
The Company also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of the common stock.
The Company plans to use the net proceeds of the Public Offering for vessel acquisitions, capital expenditures and for other general corporate purposes, including repayment of indebtedness.
Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as joint book-running managers and Evercore Partners acted as co-manager of the Public Offering, which is being made under an effective shelf registration statement.
NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Proposed Private Offering of $120 million Senior Secured Bonds Due 2016
---PIRAEUS, Greece, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
NewLead Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NEWL) ("NewLead" or the "Company"), an international, vertically integrated mixed fleet shipping company, today announced it intends to issue approximately $120 million of senior secured bonds due 2016 (the "Bonds") in the Norwegian bond market. The Bonds are expected to be secured by four of the Company's vessels and guaranteed by the subsidiaries of the Company that own such vessels. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to finance certain vessel purchase commitments, to refinance the debt of certain vessels, and for general corporate purposes. A portion of the Bonds may be offered in the United States to qualified institutional buyers (or QIBs) as defined in Rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) concurrently with bonds offered outside of the United States pursuant to Regulation S of the Securities Act.
The Bonds and related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to or for the benefit of U.S. persons unless so registered except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable securities laws in other jurisdictions. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Bonds or any other securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any Bonds or other securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. Any offer of the Bonds will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum. This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. Announces Entering Into an Amendment of the Maturity Date of Its Current Debt Facilities
---Athens, Greece, April 12, 2011 - Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONAV), a leading provider of Global Marine Transportation services specializing in product tankers, announces that it has reached an agreement with its lenders to amend the maturity date of both the current senior and junior loan facilities.
With this agreement the new maturity date will be May 10, 2011 on both facilities, amended from the current maturity date of April 12, 2011. About Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.
Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. is an international provider of global marine transportation services through the ownership and operation of double hull product tankers. The current fleet includes fifteen double hull product tankers, which includes seven that are owned through joint ventures with wholly owned subsidiaries of Glencore International AG, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 902,358 dwt., six of which are under fixed rate time charter contracts with an average age of the entire fleet of less than five years. In addition, the Company, through its joint venture Megacore, is scheduled to take delivery of 4 additional LR1 product carriers in 2011 and 2012. With the addition of these four vessels, Omega's fleet will expand to 19 product tankers with a total deadweight capacity of 1,198,358 dwt. The Company was incorporated in the Marshall Islands in February 2005. Its principal executive offices are located in Athens, Greece and it also maintains an office in the United States.
Omega Navigation's Class A Common Shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol "ONAV" and are also listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited under the symbol "ONAV 50."
Record year for cruising in Rhodes
---12th April 2011. Rhodes is becoming increasingly popular with cruise holidaymakers, with local authorities expecting a record growth in numbers of cruise passengers for 2011.
So far, more than 600 cruise ships are scheduled to call at Rhodes by the end of the year, bringing to the island more than 700,000 tourists. That represents an increase of almost 25 per cent in cruise passengers compared to 2010, when 561,000 visitors disembarked at the island from 539 cruise ships.
According to the latest official figures, already March 2011 saw a 42 per cent year-on-year increase (from 11,802 to 19,256 passengers), with April expected to also show strong numbers.
Tom Panagos, PR Manager for Rhodes Tourism in the UK, said:
Cruise ships dock at the commercial port to the east of the Old Town of Rhodes, which is only a few minutes' walk away.
For more information about the island of Rhodes, visit: rodosisland.gr
Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 21-22 June 2011, Athens, Greece
Posidonia Exhibitions S.A.
4-6 Efplias Street
185 37 Piraeus, Greece
tel: +30 210 4283608
fax: +30 210 4283610
Source: Email Announcement