Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 17 - 2011


Shipowners invest $2 billion in new vessels

---By Nikos Bardounias
Greek shipowners invested about $2 billion in new ship orders during the first three months of the year, according to data compiled by Golden Destiny shipbrokers.
In the January-March period, Greek shipowners appear to have signed orders for 29 new vessels with a total capacity of 2.18 million deadweight tons and totaling at least $1.07 billion. However, the Golden Destiny report suggests that the value of just over half of the contracts (15 out of 29) has not been publicized, but estimates put their total at about $900 million.
During the whole of 2010, Greek shipowners placed orders for 250 new ships with a total capacity of 26.66 million deadweight tons and value of $7.6 billion, although the value of 105 contracts was not made known.
Dry-bulkers led demand in 2010 with 154 contracts and a total capacity of 13.69 million deadweight tons. Tankers followed with 68 orders adding up to 11.6 million dwt, while there were 21 orders for new container ships with a total capacity of 1.18 million dwt. There were also orders for five new liquefied petroleum gas carriers and for two passenger vessels.
Source: , Tuesday April 26, 2011 (20:43)

New Ships - Greek orders
Greek shipping company Dryships has ordered one more drilling ship South Korean yard Samsung Heavy Industries. | The order is worth US$612.3 million, Samsung said. Dryships has exercised the first of four options for drilling ship newbuildings that it signed with Samsung in November 2010. Dryships is owned by Greek ship owner Mr George Economou and the order was placed by the group company Ocean Rig. The award comes after Dryships secured a new loan and restructuring the debt financing for its first four rigs with the yard. In the November 2010 deal, Dryships is said to have paid US$24.8 million for all four options that cover units scheduled for delivery in 2013 and 2014. The deep-water drillship now ordered by Dryships is also scheduled for delivery
London/Greek shipping company Zodiac Maritime Agencies has ordered three 76,000 dwt bulk carriers from South Korean yard STX. | They will be delivered in 2013: in March, May and June. They will measure 225 metres length and 32.2 metres breadth. Contact: Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd, Seacontainers House, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD, United Kingdom. Tel. +44 20 7333 22 22. Fax. +44 20 7333 22 33. Internet
Source: NEW Ships | Ship&Offshore weekly 18 / 2 MAY 2011

Greek veteran on suezmax tack
---A supremo of Greek shipping is committed to tankers with a brand-new fleet from next year.
The Fostiropoulos group of Greece will make its debut as a suezmax owner over the next few years, ranking it among the top-four players in Piraeus when it takes delivery of 10 newbuildings.
Group founder Costas Fostiropoulos decided to enter the tanker sector in 2009 when shipping was at a low ebb in the aftermath of the financial crisis. For two decades before this, Fostiropoulos worked exclusively in the bulker sector, through dry arm Fairsky Shipping & Trading.
Almi signed an order for 10 tankers of 157,000 dwt each at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in late 2009 after months of negotiations with other yards, namely Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries, both also of South Korea.
The suezmax-tanker market has few players. Income is relatively stable, according to brokers, and the trade routes have expanded in the past few years. At the time of the order, the global newbuilding orderbook covered just 34% of the total fleet.
Fostiropoulos says price, delivery dates, operational considerations and having a sizeable fleet to create a noticeable presence among oil majors were the four major reasons behind his placing such a large order in one go.
At the time, banks had frozen new transactions or were only offering expensive capital, while owners were only too willing to put their growth plans on hold.
Owners had been paying around $100m for suezmaxes before the market crash. Fostiropoulos says Daewoo eventually agreed to an all-time-low market price of just above $60m per ship.
The order was one of a series of moves the group made within a 12-month period. In early 2009, Fairsky bought a capesize bulker for $38m and a few months later, Almi was launched with two modern aframax products tankers, the 105,500-dwt Almi Spirit (built 2007) and 114,000-dwt Almi Star (built 2005). It paid $116m en bloc for the pair.
By early 2010, Fostiropoulos had splashed out $500m in cash when it inked in two VLCC newbuildings at Daewoo for Almi. The sum includes the secondhand purchases and $320m in down payments for the newbuildings, representing 40% deposits for each ship.
Ordering the large batch of tankers gave Almi control over the delivery dates of each ship. Fostiropoulos says he did not want to take delivery before the end of 2011 based on his view of how the tanker markets would fair.
Suezmax owners currently earn an average of just over $33,000 per day, whereas in early 2008 earnings averaged $75,000 per day on a per-voyage basis.
Fostiropoulos says he is optimistic that market levels will rise after 2012, when the company is due to take delivery of the first of five suezmaxes. The remaining seven suezmaxes and VLCCs are scheduled for delivery in 2013.
Fuel-consumption needs in China and India will be significant and will drive international demand for oil, Fostiropoulos argues. China alone has surpassed the US as the largest home market for passenger cars in the world.
He says controlling a large series of sisterships also provides economies of scale and operational advantages ranging from engineering to crewing considerations. The company can also substitute any one of its ships with another should a vessel committed to a charter be delayed by a previous commitment.
Fostiropoulos is no stranger to the commercial benefits of running sisterships. He started out in shipping in 1973 working with mixed fleets. Fairsky decided on a revamp in the early 1990s and acquired the 13 handymax-bulker sisterships it still operates.
However, the most important factor driving the 10-strong suezmax order was that the group was not known among oil traders.
Shortly after the order, Petrobras approached the company for a meeting and soon after that, the oil major took one of the aframaxes on long-term business.
There is talk in the market that Fostiropoulos will launch a new pool for the suezmax fleet but the owner is reticent about revealing any intentions.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 22:01 GMT, 28 Apr 11 | updated: 20:41 GMT, 27 Apr 11

BG agrees first $175m contract for Deep Sea Metro drillship
--- Tuesday 26 April 2011, 15:57 by Nigel Lowry
Deepsea Metro I will drill well for Woodside Energy on leaving HHI, before departing for Tanzania on day-rate of about $480,000
BG will take the Deepsea Metro I for a firm one-year period with a contract value of about $175m, and there are three options for further periods of six months each.
The contracted revenue, which includes mobilisation and net taxes, equates to a day-rate of just over $480,000 per day, which is considered consistent with current market negotiations.
BG will be using the drillship, which can drill to depths of 10,000 ft, for a campaign in Tanzania.
Before heading for West Africa, Deepsea Metro I, which is scheduled for delivery on May 31, will drill a single well in South Korean waters for Australian contractor Woodside Energy.
Sistership Deepsea Metro II, which is scheduled for delivery in November this year, is understood to also be the subject of contractual discussions.
The debut deal will come as particularly good news for Greece-based Metro Exploration, the 60% owner of Deep Sea Metro, which endured an anxious wait for business in its first major investment in the offshore drilling sector.
Odfjell already has an operative fleet in the deepwater drilling sector comprising three semi-submersible rigs.
Deepsea Metro I has begun sea trials that are scheduled to finish by the end of April.
The vessel has been financed by equity and a five-year $460m senior secured bond through Golden Close Maritime Corp which priced at 11% a few months ago.
The joint venture ordered the vessels at an all-in delivered cost of about $800m each.

Top Ships Inc. announces new charters for M/T Ionian Wave and M/V Cyclades
Top Ships Inc. is examining its options, including discussing a commercial solution with the previous Charterer, in order to recover the amounts due.

DryShips Announces Signing of Restructuring of $1.1 Billion Facility and Exercise of 2 Options to Construct UDW Drillships by Ocean Rig UDW Inc.
- The maximum amount permitted to be drawn is reduced from $562.5 million to $495 million under each facility
- In addition to the Dryships Guarantee, Ocean Rig UDW Inc., will provide an unlimited recourse guarantee and will be subject to certain financial covenants that will apply quarterly
- Full draw downs (up to a total of $495 million) will be permitted for the Ocean Rig Poseidon based upon the employment of the drillship under its drilling contract with Petrobras, and cash collateral deposited for this vessel will be released
- For the Ocean Rig Mykonos, the Company will have up to one month prior to delivery (scheduled for September 2011) to execute an acceptable drilling contract in order to draw down the loan
Ocean Rig exercised two newbuilding options to construct Ultra Deepwater Drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries. Earlier deliveries than previously scheduled were secured for July and October 2013. The specification of both the drillships has been further upgraded to 7th generation from the already high specification of the existing series of four, including:
o capability to drill in 12,000 feet of water depth
o a seven ram BOP
o a dual mud system
o enhanced riser handling and storage system
o ballast water treatment system.
George Economou, Chairman and CEO commented:

Piraeus' role undisclosed as Cosco Pacific doubles profit
---China's Cosco Pacific has more than doubled its first quarter 2011 profit compared to 2010 primarily on the back of rising volumes moving through its container terminals around the world. Net income of the Hong Kong-based company jumped to $97.2m in the Jan / March period from $41.5m in the same 2010 months.
In addition to boosting its container handling business, Cosco reported the contribution to profits of its container manufacturing business, China International Marine Containers, was up fourfold to $43.9m after an increase in sales.
In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange April 26, the company reported sales from continuing operations rose 20% to $130.3m in the 2011 quarter as the company's terminals handled 20% more containers than a year earlier, helped by the addition of more facilities and increasing Chinese exports of toys, furniture and auto spare parts to the US and Europe.
Cosco Pacific, the world's fifth-largest container-terminal operator, moved 11.5m teu in the first quarter. The Chinese market by far accounted for most business in the first quarter with terminals in Bohai Rim, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and the Southeast Coast, accounting for just over 10m teu compared to 8.28m teu 12 months earlier, while the group's overseas terminal movement was 1.41m teu, up 7.6% when compared with the corresponding period last year.
Cosco did not provide a breakdown of the company's individual container operations overseas, like those of Piraeus' terminals II and III, for which the Chinese company signed in 2008 a Euro 3.4bn ($5bn) deal for 35 years of management rights at Pireaus. Likewise, the latest financial report from the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) made no mention of revenues it gained from the concession agreement with Cosco Pacific, though it does play a big part in keeping the PPA in profit.
Cosco is ready to invest in ports again, says company boss Wei Jiafu. "I believe now is a good time to go bottom-fishing," the told China Daily. It is hoped some of the planned investment will come Greece's way.
Development of infrastructure through investments in the ports and in logistics is an absolute necessity for the competitiveness of the Greek economy and Cosco Pacific recently said it is ready to play its part. "Cosco is determined to have a big role in the Mediterranean," said Anastasios Vamvakidis, deputy trade director of Cosco's local management company, Container Terminal Piraeus SA (SEP). Vamvakidis said that by the end of 2015, Cosco expects to be moving 3.7m teu through the port, after developing facilities, from the present total annual capacity of around 1.6m. -- China Cosco Results / 'From the Marketplace'
-- Filed: 2011-04-27

Shipowners awaiting UK banking reform decision
---British banking reforms raise uncertainty over loans to shipowners
Source: Fairplay - Trade 28 Apr 2011

Election of members of the Governing Council of the Union of Greece Marinas
---Note: Original Greek text translated to English using -
Thursday 14.04.2011 completed elections of the first Ordinary General Assembly of the Marinas in Greece with the election of 7 members of the Governing Council of the Union, which was constituted as follows:
1. Stavros KATSIKADIS, Marina Flisvos, PRESIDENT
2. Nicholas KOUTSODONTIS - Marina Gouvia, VICE PRESIDENT
4. Panagiotis PAPPAS - Marina Alimos / Mytilene TREASURER
5. Angel KOPITSAS - Marina Zea, STATE
6. George KYRIAKOPOULOS - Marina Aretsou / Vouliagmeni STATE
7. Elias TEFAS - Cleopatra Marina Aktion STATE.
The Union Marinas Greece was founded in 2010, currently composed of 19 marinas and the purpose of, inter alia, are:
- The representation and upgrading of tourist ports in Greece
- The study and solve problems relating to the operation of tourist ports
- The viewing mostly in Greece and abroad, tourist ports, representing or managing members of the Union
- The provision and exchange of information and data relating to the operation of tourist ports
- Initiatives to improve the conditions and procedures for evaluation of poetry and upgrading of tourist ports in order to achieve complete organization and development and the provision of quality services
As members of the Union may be admitted only natural or legal persons who operate and operate tourist ports in the Greek territory.
Source: Enosi Marinon Ellados <>