Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 18 - 2011


Akti Miaouli / People & Places

Seventeen Greece-based companies manufacturing ship's equipment presented their technical achievements and services at the HEPHAESTUS 2011, Hellenic Marine Equipment and Exporters Forum, organised by the Hellenic Institute of Marine Technology (Elint), May 4 at the Eugenides Foundation. Under the auspices of the Marine Technical Managers Association (Martecma); the Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain; the Hellenic Management Association (EEDE), and the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the event attracted technical managers and fleet managers of Greek shipping companies. In his programme remarks, Elint president Ioannis Kokkarakis said Greek shipping companies should consider adding Greek manufacturers "to their makers' list for their newbuildings as well as their ships in service".
James 'Jim' Walsh, founder of Overseas Maritime Consultants has died aged 66 as a result of a work-related accident. Well-known in the Piraeus community, Walsh died in Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, after being injured in a fall from the accommodation ladder onto the launch following a survey on a gas tanker at Port Said in Egypt. He was buried in a private funeral in Athens. An Englishman, Walsh was one of the first foreigners to set up a ship-surveying and consultancy company in Piraeus, establishing Overseas in 1980. He was a strong supporter of the Piraeus cluster and a leader of the technical community, serving as president of the Hellenic Joint Branch of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Science & Technology & Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
V.Ships Monaco president Roberto Giorgi updated Greek clients on the developing bidding process for the giant V Group. Addressing guests attending a private lunch at the Yacht Club of Greece, May 4, Giorgi said the group is searching for an investor to ensure it will be strongly positioned "going forward". He said "the group wants to penetrate the Asian market" and that any deal would bring no real change to the group's structure, other than strengthen it. He said V.Ships would "always remain dedicated to serving the clients and the seafarers interests". The lunch was attended by V.Ships' managers: Bob Bishop, ceo ship management division - Glasgow; Andrea Zito, ceo V.Ships Leisure - Monaco; Antonio Ciocchi, md V.Ships Monaco S.A.M; the technical director from Cyprus, Bindiganavale Mukund; and John Kerr , operations director from Glasgow. The event was hosted by Captain Mauro Renaldi md of V.Ships Greece.
The appointments of 14 new Greek Marine attaches around the world have been announced by the Citizens Protection ministry on a recommendation by the Greek Harbour Corps chief, vice admiral Constantinos Soulis, and a final decision by the minister, Christos Papoutsis. Among the new appointees are: Lieutenant Commander Nikolaos Armpouniotis in New York, USA; Lieutenant Spyridon Passakos in Tokyo, Japan; Captain Constantinos Katsoyiannis in Hong Kong, China; Lieutenant Demetrios Soulos in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Lieutenant Mihail Pangalos in Houston, USA.
Upgrading of the port of Volos was the focus of a meeting May 2, between Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister, Yiannis Diamantidis; Volos mayor, Panagiotis Skotiniotis; the vp and member of the Greek parliament Rodoula Zisi; and the harbour-master of Volos and members of the port's board. Diamantidis asked all to assist in the upgrading of the port's infrastructure and operational efficiency as it seeks to become a homeport to cruise ships. More than 50 cruise ships are expected to call at Volos in 2011 comparing to 39 cruise ships visiting in 2010.
Antonis Pissaridis was elected chairman of Cyprus-listed Sea Star Capital by the company's board, on April 27, succeeding the late Akis Kleanthous. During the same gm two new members were named to the board: Marios Orfanidis, an attorney; and Demitra Haralambous, the cfo of Sea Star Capital. The board decided to postpone a meeting regarding raising the company's capital and its future moves to enable Orfanidis to be briefed and study Sea Star's financial position.
Amid reports Quintana Ship Management Ltd has taken delivery of its first vessel, a kamsarmax newbuilding, the Kifissia-based US-led company continues to recruit staff. Quintana is located at: 5 Xenias Street, 145 62 Kifissia, Greece Tel: 210 6235 900 Fax: 210 6234 493

Merger may prompt exit from spot market for Crude Carriers fleet
--- Friday 06 May 2011, 11:03 by Nigel Lowry
Capital Product would evaluate period opportunities for Crude's VLCCs and suezmaxes, but only if unification wins support of unaffiliated shareholders
The move would be consistent with the longer term employment profile of Capital Product, which is also chaired by Mr Marinakis, and would create clearer income visibility for the partnership, said Mr Lazaridis.
However, the merger is not expected to complete until the third quarter of 2011 and it is understood that any shift of employment policy is not going to be implemented now and could even take until next year, depending on market conditions.
Capital Product itself has leaned towards shorter-term periods recently for some of its medium-range product tankers in the expectation of future recovery in rates, and market options for the crude tankers will only be fully evaluated later this year.
If the merger wins the necessary approval it will leave Capital Product as the eighth-largest of US-listed tanker companies by fleet capacity, but it will have a younger fleet than any of its peers.

Young chem-tanker fleet bides time
---An orders rush in 2003 appears to have put ambitious Greek players in a good place but the market has yet to take off.
In 2003, a batch of Greek owners turned their attention to the small chemical-tanker segment with the expectation of high returns on their investments.
A number entered the size range of between 5,000 dwt and 18,000 dwt, anticipating that more stringent rules introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) would see older tonnage squeezed out of the market.
However, it did not quite work out that way. Some have since felt the bite of a market that has yet to take off but on the whole the Piraeus-based newcomers have fared well.
Today, there are 25 Greek companies controlling just over 100 IMO-II and IMO-III compliant chemical tankers. This is small fry compared to the exposure Greek owners have in the larger tanker segments but what is interesting is that 68 of these smaller vessels are newbuildings built in 2005, according to London broker Clarksons.
Piraeus broker George Banos from George Moundreas & Co was instrumental in placing a large proportion of these contracts.
In 2003, this niche market looked like a sure bet. The segment boasted a small fleet of under 550 ships with a newbuilding orderbook at 15% of its total capacity.
At the time, Banos says owners were hopeful they would enter the North Sea trades, which are controlled by oil majors. New regulations in the vegoil business would also justify the investment, especially in ships over 10,000 dwt.
The world fleet was already rising by 2001 with 25 ships delivered. By 2003, newbuilding deliveries doubled and this was further accelerated by a surge of orders placed in the run-up to 2007.
Lotus Shipping was one of the first Greeks to place an order in mid-2003. It booked four 12,800-dwt ships with deliveries set for 2005 and 2006 at a reported $14m each. Lotus was an established chemical-tanker player but the order sparked a flurry of interest from compatriots.
Banos says owners were looking at estimated incomes of $13,000 to $14,000 per day but by the time the majority of the ships hit the water, rates had dropped to $6,000 and $8,000 per day.
According to fleet data, there are a total of around 1,650 IMO-II and IMO-III chemical tankers in the water, of which half were delivered from 2005 onward. Around 500 belong to the larger segment of over 9,000 dwt.
One owner who feels burnt by his exposure but was willing to speak on condition of anonymity says analysts sold a very convincing story about the demand growth in the vegoil trades. Banos agrees, saying that traders and owners with older ships have found ways to circumvent IMO rules.
Those that entered the segment in 2003 are in a competitively better position than those who ordered later at higher prices, he says. NG Moundreas, Perosea Shipping, Evalend Shipping and Hellespont were among those who ordered some of their tonnage at lower levels.
There were still bargains to be had in late 2004, when Modion Maritime inked its three 2,900-dwt ships at $17m each. But by early 2007, Elmira Shipping was paying $27.5m each for four 2006-built 12,000-dwt chemical tankers. It sold the quartet four months later for a reported $30.5m each. Elmira is among the few compatriots that entered the segment with secondhand ships. It bought another six tankers when values where on the rise.
Emmanuel Papalexis, head of Mare Shipmanagement, which controls one 1992-built, IMO-II chemical tanker, says that despite the oversupply of ships, there are none in layup. He reflects a market consensus when he says that the small chemical-tanker market reports low volatility in rates and in the past eight years there has been no change to this historical pattern. Chemical tankers of around 20,000 dwt are earning around $8,000 per day and those of 15,000 dwt are securing $10,000 per day. By comparison, aframaxes, which are more expensive to buy but have the same operational costs of around $6,000 per day, are earning $5,000 per day on some spot trades.
Market observers are confident the segment will live up to its original promise, although Papalexis says it has a track record of an earnings ceiling of $13,000 to $15,000 per day.
One owner says one of the main reasons spot rates are low is because 45,000-dwt chemical tankers are poaching cargoes from smaller tankers, especially in the vegoil trades, a segment they would not touch in healthier markets. These larger ships will pursue higher-value cargoes once the general market improves.
Market pundits are also placing bets on more scrapping. Oil majors are not keen to take on old ships and terminals are placing age restrictions on entry. There are 81 chemical tankers aged over 25 years.
In the meantime, there has been room for Greek owners to take advantage of lower asset values, which had dropped by early 2009.
Laskaridis Shipping bought two 5,600-dwt newbuilding contracts for a reported $9m each cancelled by Evalend in early 2009. One was delivered last year, while the other is slated for this year.
Elmira has also been able to counterbalance the higher prices it paid in 2006 with two secondhand deals since late last year. The owner has just taken delivery of the 19,000-dwt IMO-II chemical tanker Chem Taurus (built 2000) after paying $15m.
It is unclear what the seller, US-based Fairfield Maxwell, paid for the specialised tanker, now renamed Liquid Force.
Fairchem was said to have paid $35m each for sisterships in 2006 when it was building up its fleet.
Elmira also swept up another opportunity when it reportedly paid $7.5m for the 9,600-dwt IMO-II chemical tanker Liquid Platinum (ex-Golden Elizabeth, built 1997) late last year.
By Yiota Gousas Athens
Published: 22:01 GMT, 05 May 11 | updated: 20:23 GMT, 04 May 11

Posidonia moves
The exhibition will take place between 4th to 8th June, 2012.
Managing director Nana Michael and her team set the wheels in motion last year when India, China and many European countries submitted their early booking applications for more space to accommodate the need for bigger pavilions and stands.
Situated next to the Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport, Metropolitan Expo spans an area of 45.000 sq m split across four halls connected through a central wide corridor.
It offers over 100,000 sq m of parking space and is easily accessible by metro, bus, taxi, or private vehicle and by air thanks to its proximity to the airport, the organisers said.

Jim Walsh passed away on 16/Apr/11
Jim Walsh passed away on 16/Apr/11. He had gone to Port Said to make a warranty survey on LNG tanker SUPREME IMO : 7035494 built 1971.
He was to confirm for insurers that the vessel was fit to pass the Suez Canal for a voyage to demolition at Alang. He completed the survey on 22/Mar but he fell from the accommodation ladder onto the launch boat on disembarkation sustaining serious injuries. The circumstances are not known to us.
He later died in Evangelismos hospital in Greece and was buried at Byronas cemetery in Athens in a small private funeral.
To date our principals Ericson and Richards have only offered kind words and no information. The Agents Elephant Marine misled us as to the seriousness of his condition and shipped him back to Greece as soon as possible with minimal medical attention.
The owners of the vessel Argo Systems FZE the managers Pelican Marine of mumbai and their insurers and also their insurance brokers Al Salam have never responded about this incident.
We are left not knowing what really happened that day.
We hope that he rests in peace.
Nationality British; born Tyneside 1944, died 2011
Sea service with Elders & Fyffes, Canadian Pacific & BP Tankers. Chief Engineer's Certificate Steam & Motor 1970 followed by employment in the Design Department of BP in London engaged in the plan appraisal of New Building Product Tankers, later serving as a Chief Engineer on a Greek managed foreign flag tanker.
He holds a First Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Prize 1974. He was employed as a Lecturer II at the Liverpool Polytechnic teaching Undergraduates and Marine Engineers studying for Certificates of Competency.
He also carried out research, into the displacement of thin cylinders under bending for the British Atomic Energy Authority.
He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers, of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers & Ship Surveyors. Immediate Past Chairman of the Hellenic Joint Branch of the Institute of Marine Engineers and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
Previously engaged in the formation of an Engineering facility at a Brookes Bell & Co. in Liverpool 1975, moved to Greece thereafter to open Overseas Maritime in 1980.
Contributor to the English edition of the book Ages of the Sea - a Brief History of the Greek Merchant Marine by Dr. M.D. Los, also a technical contributor to the book AVEROF - The Ship That Changed the Course of History.
He is also a contributor to a number of periodicals on the subject of technical matters relating to shipping and has undertaken presentations alone or with Norton Rose and also Lloyd's List Events

Ferry fares to become cheaper
---By Nikos Bardounias
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs is promising cheaper ferry tickets this summer after abolishing certain levies that burden fares for passengers and vehicles by 30 and 37 percent respectively.
Following his meeting with representatives of the two associations of coastal shipping companies on Tuesday, Minister Yiannis Diamantidis stated that an agreement had been reached on reducing costs for travelers.
Coastal shippers were positive about the foreseen end to third-party levies, as it had long been one of their main demands from the state, but stress that any reduction in fares should take into account the current price of fuel.
Among all European Union countries, Greece has the most numerous and highest (as a portion of the fare) third-party levies in passenger tickets, amounting to 30 percent, compared to 8 percent in Spain, 5.5 percent in France and 10 percent in Italy. , Tuesday May 3, 2011 (22:46)

3rd Maritime Security & Anti-Piracy Conference, 22-23 June 2011, Athens-Greece
3rd Maritime Security & Anti-Piracy Conference, June 22-23, 2011 in Athens, Greece and workshop on June 24, 2011.
Invited and confirmed speakers include government officials from the US,NATO, EU and the Horn of Africa regional states and senior decision-makers from the shipping industry.The conference objective is to help all stakeholders to develop a practical, comprehensive and sustainable strategy and address maritime security and best practices to counter piracy.
Currently more than 100 delegates registered for the conference from more than 20 countries.Presentations and panel discussions include Global Commerce & Modern Piracy, Crisis Response, Types of Pirate Attacks, Legal Challenges, Maritime Industry, Multi-National Forces and Regional Anti-Piracy Efforts, Piracy Counter-measures taken by US, NATO, EU, Yemen and Kenya, Available technology & products, Commercial,Government and Regional Government's Response and Sharing Best Practices.
To register, Call us at 202-536-5000, or download a registration form: Complete and fax to 202-280-1239.