Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 21 - 2011
---State intervention in matters concerning Greek shipping should be kept to a minimum and "seek to open new routes not close old ones" was the clear message from Greek shipowners on the occasion of European Maritime Day, May 20.
"Greek shipping is not a maritime affair" and the "aspirations of some academics to cut shipping from the Harbour Corps and Coast Guard are detrimental and unacceptable" warned leaders of the shipping community while emphasising the need for the Greek state to change its course in its relations with the maritime community.
In the presence of the Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries minister, Yiannis Diamantidis; secretary general of Imo, Efthimios Mitropoulos; and the president of major opposition party New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (HCS) president, George Gratsos, and the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) president, Theodore Veniamis, spoke of the current conditions experienced by shipping internationally and in Greece, and underlined the measures needed for Greek shipping to continue its leadership role internationally.
"We battle daily to keep on top," said Veniamis after referring to the astonishing miracle of Greek-owned shipping created by the "incomparable Greek fleet, its seafarers" and the "capable Greek shipowner". "If our country wishes to remain a leader in shipping, interventions should be of a nature as to open new roads and not close the old ones," said Veniamis. He said the result gained by the shipping industry is impressive, but warned that "today it is more difficult than it was yesterday and easier than it will be tomorrow".
"Greek shipping needs an experienced body able to act not only to meet its daily needs but with the knowledge gained over the years to protect its interests in international organisations," said Veniamis. He denounced the 'arbitrary amputation' of the Harbour Corps from Greek shipping.
Veniamis acknowledged as very positive the fact that even in this difficult situation the umbilical cord connecting the maritime and the homeland is still revered, in that the institutional framework within which they operate remains stable and he hoped celebration of the 'Day of the Greek Merchant Marine' will be broaden to incorporate "the entire people of our country".
Gratsos said Greece is going through difficult times and "the only solid lead in the Greek economy is a strong Greek shipping sector. He said: "Shipping is not 'maritime affairs'. Shipping, in all its forms, creates 400,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Our ocean-going fleet offers annually between Euro 15bn and Euro 19bn in foreign currency to the Greek economy."
"We are blessed to live in probably the most beautiful place on earth, which developed the largest civilization of antiquity. With the right operating system and healthy competition Greece could be developed to become the cultural, economic, maritime and transit centre of the Eastern Mediterranean. Current circumstances are perfect for this," said Gratsos.
Mitropoulos said that beyond the economic benefits Greek shipping offers, it is a bargaining tool in foreign policy. He stressed the need in these difficult times to maintain the supremacy of Greek-owned shipping.
Diamantidis said the Greek merchant marine has brought honour to Greece over the years all over the world. He described shipping as the 'heavy industry' of Greece and one of the two pillars of the Greek economy along with tourism. "Despite the impressive performance of Greek shipping in recent years, the government seeks to further strengthen the industry" said the minister who referred to the huge sacrifices made by Greek seamen who have contributed greatly to the industry's development.
President of the New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, said the shipping family has done a lot for Greece and described shipowners as "custodians of a great tradition". "You are the one piece of Hellenism that achieved a world first" said Samaras, adding that "although Greeks have heard various words from unjustly different directions of late, there is a feeling our countrymen have rightly earned worldwide admiration for their achievements, making our society and our people proud".
-- Filed: 2011-05-24
Greece to sell port stakes
The objective of the sales is for Greece to create a sovereign wealth fund so it can pay off debts. The government has been under increasing pressure to address its bloated public sector while averting job losses.
Source: Fairplay Daily News 24 May 2011
---26 May 2011
ATHENS has said it cannot afford to salvage the cruise ship Sea Diamond, which sank off Santorini in April 2007.
Diamantidis also said that academic studies have found that the wreck poses no environmental threats.
Two people drowned when Sea Diamond sank in the Santorini caldera on 5 April 2007, after it ran aground the day before. Cyprus-based Louis Cruises has rejected responsibility for the sinking.
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Greek operator mulls new order
---Golden Union is said to be on the verge of booking four more panamaxes.
Managing director Theodore Veniamis confirms the company is discussing the order but nothing has yet been signed.
Shipbuilding sources say Golden has booked two firm and two optional 76,000-dwt vessels for delivery in 2012 and 2013 at a price of around $31.5m to $32m each (see story, page 7).
Golden has been a good client of Chinese yards over the past years and Veniamis says it currently has 11 ships on order at three separate shipbuilders, while in 2010 and this year it has taken delivery of nine vessels, all but one from China.
Veniamis confirms that as well as the newly reported orders the company has five kamsarmaxes on order at Cosco Dalian Shipyard, four supramaxes at Cosco Guangdong and a pair of panamaxes at Rongsheng.
In 2010, Golden took delivery of seven ships from China. The supramaxes Anna Bo and Flag Alexandros were delivered from Cosco Guangdong, the panamaxes Patricia V and Elena Ve came out of Rongsheng, the 79,500-dwt Mairini was delivered from Cosco Dalian and 177,800-dwt Christina J and Rini were handed over by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard.
This year the company has already kicked off its deliveries with the 175,000-dwt Cape Supplier out of Rongsheng.
It has another five post-2000-built ships, as well as one built in the 1990s and nine dating to the 1980s. In April, it disposed of the panamax Flag Tom (built 1983) to a Chinese buyer for a reported $6.2m.
By Gillian Whittaker Athens
Published: 22:01 GMT, 26 May 11 | updated: 20:34 GMT, 25 May 11
--- Tuesday 24 May 2011, 11:42 by Nigel Lowry
Boxship prices and charter rates justify investment, says Kostis Konstantakopoulos
The company attributed a 3.4% decrease in voyage revenues for the quarter mainly to increased off-hire resulting from seven dry dockings.
However, it said that voyage revenues adjusted on a cash basis increased by 17.6% to $94m during the period, due to escalation clauses in the charters on some of the vessels as well as from increased fleet capacity in terms of ownership days.
The quarter also saw Costamare taking delivery of eight vessels ranging in size from 1,162 teu to 3,351 teu out of the 10 secondhand acquisitions it clinched during the last two quarters.
Of the 10 orders recently placed for postpanamax vessels of 8,800 teu to 9,000 teu, Costamare has already financed the first five with Chinese and European banks.
Maran Tanker Management Further Leads In Sustainable Shipping
---26 May 2011
Maran Tankers Management Inc. Collaborates With ABS on Company and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans
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Source: ABS Press Release
IMO's MSC issues guidelines on private security guards
---May 23, 2011. IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which met in London May 11-20, has approved an MSC Circular providing interim guidance to shipowners, ship operators, and shipmasters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk piracy area off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean, and Interim recommendations for flag States on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area. Both sets of guidance are aimed at addressing the complex issue of the employment of private, armed security on board ships.
The guidance notes that the use of private armed security personnel should not be considered an alternative to the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area (BMP) and other protective measures.
Placing armed guards on board a vessel should only be considered after a risk assessment has been carried out. It is also important to involve the Master in the decision making process. The guidance includes sections on risk assessment, selection criteria, insurance cover, command and control, management and use of weapons and ammunition at all times when on board and rules for the use of force as agreed between the shipowner, the private maritime security company and the Master.
Flag states are recommended to have in place a policy on whether or not the use of private security contractors will be authorized and, if so, under which conditions. A flag state should take into account the possible escalation of violence which could result from the use of firearms and carriage of armed personnel on board ships when deciding on its policy. The recommendations are not intended to endorse or institutionalize the use of private security contractors and do not address all the legal issues that might be associated with their use onboard ships.
An intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Maritime Security and Piracy will meet in the week commencing September 12, 2011 to develop recommendations to governments on the use of private security contractors; review the interim guidance and generally push these sorts of issues along the IMO pipeline.
The MSC also adopted an MSC resolution on Implementation of Best Management Practice guidance, urging better implementation of these important measures.
The resolution strongly urges all those concerned to take action to ensure that as a minimum and as recommended in the Best Management Practices: ships' masters receive updated information before and during sailing through the defined High Risk Area; ships register with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa and report to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) Dubai; and ships effectively implement all recommended preventive, evasive and defensive measures.
The MSC also agreed guidelines to assist in the investigation of the crimes of piracy and armed robbery against ships, which are intended to be used in conjunction with resolution A.1025(26) Code of Practice for the Investigation of the Crimes of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships. The guidelines are intended to assist an investigator to collect evidence, including forensic evidence, to support the submission of written reports which may assist in the subsequent identification, arrest and prosecution of the pirates that held the vessel and crew captive. Formats for crew statements and logging of evidence are included, as well as guidelines on recovery and packaging of exhibits such as blood, clothing and weapons.