Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 03 - 2007
---An accident in the galley of the doomed vessel Server played a role in its eventual grounding off western Norway over the weekend. Attempts were being made Tuesday to get more oil out of its wreckage to contain a worsening oil spill.
The waters in the sound around the lighthouse (Fyrsundet) at Fedje, north of Bergen, were brownish-black this week after more heavy bunker oil seeped from the Server's wreckage. Only about 135 of the 585 tons of oil on board the Server had been recovered as of Monday night.
One of the vessel's fuel tanks remained intact, and emergency workers said they'd try to transfer its contents over to containers during the course of the day. It was possible to move the tank into calmer waters to conduct the transfer.
There was a threat of more pollution, however, from tanks at the stern of the vessel, which continued to be buffeted by stormy winds. They were believed to contain more than 100 tons of oil and diesel, and likely aren't intact.
Seabirds were struggling in the oily water, and the fate of most of them was dire. Even small amounts of oil on their feathers can destroy their natural insulation, meaning they'll freeze to death.
Ornithologists feared more than 1,000 birds could be killed by the oil.
Cook had cut off a finger
One of the vessel's insurers suggested the Server didn't have enough ballast water in its tanks to keep it low enough in stormy seas.
"The captain couldn't keep the ship on a westerly course out from Fedje," said Nicolas Wilmot of Gard, the so-called P&I club that holds the vessel's protection and indemnity coverage. The Server's speed fell, at times its propeller was reportedly out of the water and the captain lost control, ending with the grounding. [Aftenposten's reporter]
Source: Aftenposten, Norway - Jan 16, 2007, http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1603677.ece, Saturday January 20 2007 First published: 16 Jan 2007, 12:33
Inspector heads to Norway after oil spill
---A CYPRIOT Shipping Department inspector left for Norway yesterday to assist in the investigation of a Cyprus-flagged vessel that ran aground and broke up off the coast on Friday, spilling hundreds of tonnes of fuel oil into the sea.
The Greek-owned cargo ship Server ran aground on bad weather and broke up off the west coast of Norway late on Friday. The 25-man crew, mainly Indonesians, was rescued by helicopters. It was not carrying any cargo at the time but between 300 and 400 tonnes of fuel oil spilled into the sea. The ship was loaded with over 600 tonnes of fuel in all.
The 180-metre vessel called for help around after running aground, and breaking in two, near the Hellesoy lighthouse off the coast of Hordaland county, 275 kilometres northwest of Oslo.
Divers were examining the sunken wreckage yesterday. It was not clear what caused the ship to hit the rocks but reports from Norway yesterday said it was reportedly due to insufficient ballast which made the ship vulnerable to the strong waves. Hundreds of tonnes of fuel aboard the Server leaked into the sea, threatening a local bird sanctuary. Local residents were said to be deeply disturbed by the oil that was washing up on the rocks and islands at Fedje, site of one of Norway's most scenic lighthouses,
Norwegian Environment Minister Helen Bjornoy and acting Fisheries Minister Dag Terje Andersen visited the area on Sunday, while environmental crews had managed to clear up around one-third of the total spillage. It was estimated that a total clean up could take six months.
The Server had been on its way to Murmansk in northern Russia.
Source: http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=30142&cat_id=1, By Jean Christou
RP sailors on aground ship in Baltic Sea safe
---The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has assured families of 23 Filipino seamen whose ship ran aground in the Baltic Sea last Monday that their loved ones are safe, officials said Thursday.
Philippine ambassador to Sweden Victoria Bataclan said the MV Golden Sky, which is manned by a largely Filipino crew, ran aground due to bad weather last Monday, some five kilometers off Ventspils in northwestern Latvia.
Bataclan said MV Golden Sky, a Cypriot-flagged cargo vessel owned by the Greece-based Samios Shipping, has a crew of 23 Filipinos and a Ghanaian.
She said 15 Filipinos and one Ghanaian were evacuated by the Latvian Air Force and Swedish rescue helicopters and are presently billeted at the Hotel Ostina in the port of Vestpils.
Filipino Captain Reynaldo Mortel and seven other Filipino crew members remained on board the ship, on the decision of Captain Mortel, presumably for salvage operations.
She identified the crewmen remaining with Captain Mortel as Chief Mate Camilo Carsano, Chief Engineer Perlo Andrino, 3rd Engineer Rene Capanas, 4th Engineer Jose Samson Chiva, Electrician Reynaldo Petras, Bosun Orbito Bayaban, and AB Raji Jimster Bonite.
Arrangements are being made for the eventual repatriation of the remaining crew members, Bataclan said.
Citing Latvian news reports, the DFA said the cargo vessel carried 25,000 tons of mineral fertilizers on its hold, 446 tons of residual fuel oil and 45 tons of diesel fuel.
Oil products are reportedly leaking from the ship, fuelling fears of an oil spill.
Representatives of the ship owner are in Ventspils to discuss the situation with Latvian authorities.
Current weather conditions prevent a proper inspection of the ship, which the State Border Guard is observing from the coast using special equipment. - GMANews.TV
Source: 01/18/2007 | 11:18 PM, http://www.gmanews.tv/story/27387/RP-sailors-on-aground-ship-in-Baltic-Sea-safe
Seafarers ready to stop ships in move to derail measures
---Greek seafarers are preparing to use the strike weapon in their bid to get Marine minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis to withdraw a measure on crewing aimed at making the Greek register more attractive.
The Greek government expects measures to make the national flag more competitive will attract another 1,000 ships to the Piraeus registry. The measures were presented last November by minister Kefaloyiannis and are unofficially already in place with owners of newbuildings set to raise the Greek flag after agreeing six members of the crew must be Greek nationals. The makeup of the six has not been revealed but up to now it was required that a suezmax tanker for instance flying the home flag have 10 Greeks on board, six officers and four lower crew.
Shipowners generally welcome the measures, with Union of Greek Shipowners president Nicos Efthymiou saying any gain for the registry is welcome, but stresses "what is important is to stop owners leaving the registry". Nicos Tsakos, chairman and ceo of US-listed Tsakos Energy Navigation said "we approve of any measure that attracts ships to the Greek flag". He went on: "As a company we use the Greek flag and will put 15 newbuildings under the flag because of the measures."
There is still a long way to go to get to the Marine minister's target of 1,000 ships, but recent newbuildings are running up the home colours.
Among the most recent to raise the Greek flag was the Ellinis, a 157,844dwt tanker newbuilding delivered to Chandris Hellas a couple of weeks back. The ship is registered on the island of Chios.
In a clear demonstration to the government that it must act to make the Greek flag more competitive, the Angelicoussis group, Greece's biggest shipowner and a staunch backer of the Greek flag, hoisted the Maltese flag on the suezmax bulker newbuilding Anangel Sailor, 170,000dwt, last May. John Angelicoussis has now brought the ship under the national banner.
Enterprises Shipping & Trading's George Sarris says the measures are "a step in the right direction" but they need to go further. He says companies not using the Greek flag, but that are using Greek crew "need to think very carefully about what to do".
Source: www.newsfront.gr, 19 January 2007 Vol. 8 / No. 2
Good times "still rolling"
---Shipping has been riding high for long enough to appeal to investors who normally prefer to focus on sectors they understand, according to Chris Chasty, head of the shipping group of London-based business adviser and accountant Moore Stephens. But Mr Chasty foresees trouble ahead for bankers with little experience of the shipping sector.
Writing in the New Year edition of Moore Stephens' shipping newsletter, The Bottom Line, Chasty says: "It has come onto the radar of private equity and it looks attractive to small investors through stock market listings. Not just a few tanker plays and not just New York, but 2006 saw even small bulk carrier companies shine in the US and other bulker operators looking at the small cap AIM market in London. Investment was the shipping story of 2006, backed by banks desperate for a piece of the action giving money away with lower and lower rates and easier and easier terms."
He claims: "Entering 2007, shipping still looks sexy, despite the weak dollar and a sense of wonder amongst the greybeards that good times can roll on for so long." Peering into his crystal ball, he predicts: "A wobbly dollar will give everyone the jitters, but in the end, no-one ever got rich betting long-term against the dollar. And even if it falls sharply, the consequences may not be bad for shipping, as a lower dollar could lead to more trade, rather than less."
But he warns: "If shipping markets slip sharply, and no-one with a history book would bet they won't, then the banks will suffer. Never in the history of human lending have they have lent so much, to so many, for such low returns, and some will come unstuck when freight incomes drop and cash flow tightens."
Today the Baltic Exchange Dry Index stood at 4629 points, up 2322 points from this time last year.
AB Bank to raise capital after HSH gives up majority share
GREEK shipping finance house Aegean Baltic Bank has confirmed it will pursue a significant increase in capital after German institution HSH Nordbank relinquishes its majority shareholding.
A deal was struck last year whereby HSH will sell down its 51% stake in the four-year-old bank to 15%, but it is understood that it has taken two or three months to arrive at the precise agreement covering the ongoing relationship between the two banks.
Now this, too, has been agreed and HSH will be a "preferred partner" rather than having first refusal on any business identified by AB Bank, led by managing director Theodore Afthonides, who has also been the second biggest shareholder.
The agreement would be "less stringent" than before, HSH's global head of shipping Harald Kuznik told Lloyd's List. "It is in writing but more of a gentlemen's agreement," he said. Mr Afthonides will buy the 36% tranche of stock being sold by HSH, which will increase his own stake to 78%, but this will be "a temporary arrangement" until the planned capital increase, he said.
It is estimated that about 70% of the portfolio consists of HSH lending, with about 20% representing other business and some 8% of AB's own exposure.
Behind the agreement, AB Bank's desire for greater flexibility to expand in its own market appears to have fitted in with HSH's strategy of opening its own offices in key shipping markets.
"It is part of our internal strategy to be in charge of our own destiny," confirmed Mr Kuznik. HSH said it was on course to open its own representative office in Athens during the first quarter of this year. At the end of 2006 the German bank had a Greek shipping portfolio of $3.2bn in outstanding loans.
Lloyd's List, 19.01.2007
Bank managers appear highly skeptical. They note that these rumors recall the wild days of the 1999 boom and point out that such moves are not announced, much less debated publicly, before they occur. The rumors, they say, serve speculators and far from reflect business strategies. Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis felt obliged to intervene, calling on those involved in merger talks to show restraint and on investors to be careful.
Source: By Yiannis Papadoyiannis - Kathimerini
Sanyo Hellas Holding invests in shipping
---19/01/07: In a surprising move Sanyo Hellas Holding, an Athens-based holdings group, entered the shipping market, through its 70% affiliated company Exelixis Investment, which is listed in Cyprus Stock Exchange. Exelixis, announced its decision to purchase 95% of the company Shelton Shipping & Trading, for the price of EUR4.2 million.
Source: Nikos Skenderoglou, http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com
Irika lands firm price for supramax with low fix
---Low-profile Greek owner Irika Shipping has achieved a firm price for a two-year-old supramax bulker.
The 52,000-dwt Nikolas (built 2005) is said to have been sold to an undisclosed buyer for $43.5m.
The vessel is on time charter until January 2008 at $19,000 per day, which is some $10,000 per day less than the current market rate for a one-year charter. A sale of the vessel in a charter-free position would expect to have netted in excess of $47m.
In comparison, the 52,000-dwt Star Bergen (built 2004) was sold last month for $44.8m in a charter-free position.
However, brokers say a buyer may be willing to pay a premium to get an unfixed ship.
Irika has had both the Nikolas and a sistership, the Irika (built 2005), up for sale since last September. The latter is earning a lower charter rate than the Nikolas. At the time, Irika was asking $42m and $40m, respectively, for the Tsuneishi Zosen-built ships, including the charters.
Database listings have on occasion listed Irika's ships under John Frangos's Seastar Maritime.
London broker Clarkson's database currently suggests Irika has just one other vessel in its fleet, the 53,000-dwt bulker Taurus (built 2002).
However, TradeWinds reported last September that the company, which was set up in 2002, could have acquired two 58,000-dwt bulker-newbuilding resale contracts from Kambara Kisen. The vessels, which are under construction at Tsuneishi Heavy Industries' Cebu facility in the Philippines, were said to have cost $37m each and are set for delivery in January and March 2008.
Even earlier last year, it was suggested that Irika had bought a 82,000-dwt kamsarmax contract at Tsuneishi for $36m. The ship is set for delivery this month. Then, in September, Norwegian owner Arne Blystad was said to have paid Frangos $50m for a kamsarmax contract reportedly due for delivery by the end of 2006.
As recently as last week, Frangos's name was linked to the purchase of the 75,000-dwt bulker Loch Long (built 2004), which was reported sold for $48.5m. Delivery of that ship was said to be set for June.
Trond Lillestolen and Gillian Whittaker Oslo and Athens, published: 19 January 2007
Navios Maritime Holdings Holds Annual General Meeting
Navios received shareholder approval of three Class A directors, whose term will expire in 2009.
Excel Maritime announce Time Charter Agreement for M/V Renuar at $26,000 per Day
---ATHENS, GREECE -- January 16, 2007 -- Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE: EXM), an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, announced today that it has chartered M/V Renuar for a period of 22 to 24 months at US $26,000 per day to a first class European charterer. The vessel will be delivered into charter on January 24, 2007.
M/V Renuar is a Panamax dry bulk carrier of 70,128 dwt, built in 1993 in China, which the company acquired and took delivery of in April 2005.
CEO Christopher Georgakis commented, "We are pleased to announce that we have secured M/V Renuar under a profitable long-term employment to a first class European charterer. This is within the context of our strategy of taking advantage of the strong shipping markets and securing long term employment for our vessels at rates which enable us to generate strong, stable and predictable cash flows. Following this charter agreement, 70% of our fleet operating days for the first quarter of 2007 and 45% for the full year of 2007 are fixed under short and long term time charters."
To view Fleet Deployment (as of January 16, 2007) go to > http://www.excelmaritime.com/uploads/excel011607.pdf
Source: Press Release, http://www.excelmaritime.com
Quintana Maritime announce Time Charter Agreement for Coal Pride at $26,500 per day
To view Fleet Table as of January 18, 2007 go to http://www.quintanamaritime.com/press_releases.html?irp=pr2&relid=43629
Source: Press Release, http://www.quintanamaritime.com
STAR Maritime agrees to acquire eight drybulk carriers from TMT Co., Ltd.
Upon the delivery of the vessels from TMT, Star Bulk's fleet will be comprised of two Capesize, one Panamax and five Supramax drybulk carriers. These drybulk carriers transport a variety of drybulk cargoes such as coal, iron ore and grain. The vessels have a combined cargo-carrying capacity of 691,213 deadweight tons and an average age of approximately 10 years.
Star Maritime will file contemporaneously with this press release a report on Form 8-K with additional information concerning the acquisition.
In connection with the acquisition, Maxim Group LLC and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. are acting as financial advisors to Star Maritime.
About Star Maritime
Star Maritime is a blank check company that was formed for the specific purpose of consummating a business combination. Star Maritime raised net proceeds of approximately $189.0 million through its initial public offering consummated in December 2005 and has dedicated its time since the initial public offering to seeking and evaluating business combination opportunities.
TMT is a diversified Taiwanese shipping company with approximately 50 years of experience in the shipping industry. TMT owns and/or operates vessels in several shipping sectors, including crude oil tankers, drybulk carriers, LNG carriers and offshore drilling platforms.
THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT WILL BE MAILED TO STOCKHOLDERS AS OF A RECORD DATE TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR VOTING ON THE BUSINESS COMBINATION. STOCKHOLDERS WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF THE DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT, WITHOUT CHARGE, BY DIRECTING A REQUEST TO: STAR MARITIME ACQUISITION CORP., 103 FOULK ROAD, WILMINGTON, DELAWARE 19803, ATTENTION: CORPORATE SECRETARY
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.
Source: News Releases
Preaching to the converted
And one, called Stelios Stamatopoulos, was blessed with its concealed coin, which he exchanged for a treasure of pure gold. Truly, the Greek did inherit its worth.
Source: Captains Log, Fairplay International Shipping Weekly, 18 Jan 2007
Toisa orders five more China offshore units
Orders for three anchor handling tug supply vessels and two large platform supply vessels have brought the number of offshore units Wunchang is building for the Greek controlled company, part of the Gregory Callimanopulos group, to 11.
The three new anchor handling units are 18,800 bhp vessels of the VS 4616 design and come on top of a series of three VS 4612 vessels the yard has already begun delivering to the owner.
Toisa expects the first of the trio to join the fleet in September, 2010, with the others delivered at six-month intervals thereafter.
The pair of DP2 ROV that Toisa has just ordered, also for 2010 delivery, are described as improved versions of three VS483 platform supply vessels already under construction by the yard.
They are also to be pre-prepared for installation of a 50-tinne crane and helideck.
The owner says the features will enable the two vessels to operate in both the supply and ROV markets.
Last year Toisa ordered diving support vessels in Norway and the Netherlands, bringing to seven the number of offshore units anticipated in 2007-2008.
Source: www.lloydslist.com, By Nigel Lowry in Athens - Thursday 18 January 2007
Executive Seminar on Shipping Derivatives and Risk Management
13th Series (08 February and 09 February 2007) - (1st Series - January 2004)
Following the successful completion of the 12th seminar series and the constantly increasing demand from the industry, the Research Centre of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), with the support of the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association (HSA), WISTA Hellas and derivatives.gr, is organizing its 13th seminar series, which will take place on 08 February and 09 February 2007 in Piraeus. This program pioneered by AUEB was introduced first worldwide in January 2004.
For more information: Professor Manolis G. Kavussanos and Assistant Professor Ilias D. Visvikis at: email@example.com
Source: Email Announcement
Piraeus Marine Club seminars - January 2007
Annual International P&I Conference, 25 January 2007. Cahired by Shipowner Lou Kollakis of Chartworld Shipping Corp . Main focus: Passenger limitation to $2bn; Club retentions; Solvency; Financial analysis and IG club comparisons; and Why do clubs quote uneconomical rates for newbuildings and new business? An attendance fee of E65 a person includes lunch. For further information: Ketty Vienna, the Piraeus Marine
Club, Tel: 210 4293 606 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Limitation of Liability, 26 January 2007. Presented by University of Wales professor Richard Williams, former partner with Ince & Co. Event will be followed by a buffet lunch at 14:00 hours. Cost E50. For further information: Ketty Vienna, the Piraeus Marine Club, Tel: 210 4293 606 E-mail: email@example.com
Source: Email Announcement