Protagonists of 2016

TEN evolves its tanker fleet with sophisticated newbuilding vessels

Focusing on its charterers needs and requirements TEN has successfully executed the biggest part of its ambitious newbuilding program during 2016.

It is remarkable that TEN has proceeded with its greatest fleet expansion ever, since the company’s IPO in NYSE, through the implementation of an aggressive and well balanced newbuilding program of 15 highly sophisticated vessels, of diverse size.

Consistent to its contractual requirements TEN has taken delivery of the following sophisticated and state-of-the-art vessels: The first four of nine aframax tankers “Elias Tsakos”, “Thomas Zafiras”, “Leontios H”, “Parthenon TS” from Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries, its second LNG carrier, the 174.000cbm Tri-Fuel diesel electric propulsion (TFDE) “Maria Energy” from Hyundai Heavy Industries and the 74.200 dwt panamax LR1s “Sunray” and “Sunrise” from Sungdong Shipyards.

All nine aframax crude tankers are built against long term contracts to Norwegian charterer Statoil that could generate gross revenues in excess of $900m. “Maria Energy” is employed for minimum 18 months and maximum three years that could generate revenues in excess of $70m if options get exercised.

The 74,200 dwt Panamax product tanker “Sunray” in South Korea is entered into a minimum 54 and maximum 78 month profit sharing contract to a significant oil major that could generate minimum gross revenues of approximately $40.5 million.

The 74,200 dwt Panamax product tanker “Sunrise” from South Korea is entered into a five year contract with profit sharing and extension options to a European oil major that could generate gross revenues of $40.0 million.

These new co-operations prove that TEN has positioned itself as a carrier choice to blue chip international oil majors and make TEN’s already solid employment base even stronger.

Following the above deliveries, seven more tankers are scheduled for delivery over the next five quarters; one VLCC, five aframax crude tankers and a suezmax DP2 shuttle tanker.

TEN has a versatile fleet of 65 double-hull vessels, constituting a mix of crude tankers, product tankers and LNG carriers, 46 vessels trade in crude, 15 in products, three are shuttle tankers and two are LNG carriers, totaling 7.2 million dwt.

Capital Ship Management Corp. took delivery of 10 new vessels during 2016

Capital Ship Management Corp. is a distinguished ship management company providing comprehensive services, currently operating a fleet of 62 vessels including 43 tankers, 5 modern bulk carriers and 14 container carriers with a total dwt of 6 million tons approx.

In 2016 Capital Ship Management, was very active in taking delivery of 10 newbuilding vessels with total a carrying capacity 1.5 million tons.

In 2016 the private shipping company of Evangelos Marinakis, Capital Ship Management, was very active in taking delivery of 10 new vessels with total a carrying capacity 1.5 million tons from top quality shipyards in S. Korea and China.

In particular the company took delivery of:

• M/T “Atromitos” & M/T “Apollonas”, 2 VLCC Crude oil tankers with carrying capacity 300.000dwt from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. in S. Korea.

• M/V “Asterix” & M/V “Amorito”, 2 Capesize bulk carriers with carrying capacity 180.000dwt, built 2010

and 2012 from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. and Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.

• M/V “Anaxagoras”, 1 Eco-Flex wide beam Containership with carrying capacity 115.639dwt / 9.288 teu, from Daew oo-Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A in Romania. The vessel in specific is the last from three sistership vessels that the company has taken delivery, two of them were delivered in 2015 and all vessels are chartered in CMA CGM.

• 5 tankers, MR, IMO, II/III Eco type 50.100dwt each that will be carrying chemical and oil products, capacity from Samsung Heavy Industries (Ningbo) Co., Ltd.In China (these five vessels are from the total eight vessels which have been ordered by the company and three of them have been delivered during 2015) and designed under the highest environmental

friendly and energy efficiently standards.

Capital Ship Management Corp. is a distinguished ship management company providing comprehensive services in every aspect of ship management, currently operating a fleet of 62 vessels including 43 tankers (6 VLCCs, 5 Suezmaxes, 2 Aframax, 29 MR/Handy product tankers and 1 small tanker), 5 modern bulk car riers (Capesizes) and 14 container carriers

with a total dwt of 6 million tons approx. The fleet under management includes the vessels of Nasdaq-listed Capital Product Partners L.P. Capital has extensive experience in managing various vessel types and sizes including tanker vessels (VLCC, Suezmax, Aframax/LR2, Panamax/LR1, MR/Handy and small tankers), dry bulk vessels (Cape, Panamax, Handymax and Handy), as well as OBOs and container vessels ranging from 1,700 to 9,500 TEU.

At the same time Capital Maritime & Trading, of Mr. Evangelos Marinakis has made impressive opening in the dry cargo sector during 2016. The company has invested around $110m in the acquisition of five 179.300dwt capesize vessels: the “Gran Trader” built 2012 purchased from Japan’s Nisshin Shipping, “ER Boston” built 2010 purchased from Germany’s ER Schiffahrt (renamed to “Asterix”), the “K Ambition” built 2012, the “K Endeavor” built 2011 and the “K Adventure” built 2011,

all built by Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and all purchased from SK Shipping. According to shipbrokers

the vessels’ price ranged between $22-23m each.

The company is currently listed with two small handysizes which are both trading in the HS2 pool. The 32.400dwt “Aristos II” built 2011 and the 34.700dwt “Apostolos II” built 2003 and is also managing a capesize for the US listed company Capital Product Partners LP, the 179.000dwt “Cape Agamemnon” built 2010.

Capital Product Partners also controls a fleet of 10 containerships with carrying capacity from 5.000-10.000 teus and 43 tankers with total carrying capacity 4.3 million dwt.

It is worthwhile to note that the Group has invested in the dry cargo sector after a seven year absence.

Nikolaos Vafias scores record profits from bulker sales

Experienced and highly expertised shipowner Nikolaos Vafias surprised the shipping market during 2016 achieving record and speedy profits from bulker sales despite historically weak prices and bulker buys. The founder of Brave Maritime and Eco Dry Ventures, the latest subsidiary of Τhe Vafias Group has marked a dynamic return in the arena of dry cargo sector securing remarkable profits earlier this year and showing a formula for making money in a depressed market.

Mr. N. Vafias, who returned to the shipping industry in 2013 having spotted an opportunity in the depressed bulker market through his company Eco Dry Ventures, paid just $11m for the “C Winner” and $12m for the “Spring Hydrangea”.

The 177,000-dwt “Moneqasque Eclat” (built 2006 NAMURA) – which Mr. Vafias bought as the “Spring Hydrangea” – and the “Tigerlily” (built 2008 DAEHAN) – purchased as “C Winner” were sold just short of $30m en bloc with forward delivery in q1 17.

It was proved that Eco Dry Ventures have made a profit of up to $9m or an astonishing 40 percent return on equity from the asset play and charter of the vessels.

Mr. Nikolaos Vafias, who built his first bulker fleet in the 1970s, took five years away from shipping before returning to head Eco Dry ventures. Today the group headed by Nikolaos Vafias controls a mixed fleet of 86 vessels through 4 subsidiaries, Brave Maritime, Stealth Maritime, Eco Dry Ventures and listed entity Stealthgas.

Historic Background of Vafias Family

The father of Nicholas Vafias, Haralambos S. Vafias, was born in Ai Giorgis Sikousis of Chios and lived from 1913 to 1993.

Looking to expand his business spectrum Haralambos Vafias moved to Argentina in 1955 and was involved in the trading of

meat products. The son of Haralambos, Nikolaos Vafias was born in Athens in 1949 and graduated from Athens College and Athens University. After his studies he was involved in the family business. However, he was attracted by the shipping activities and in 1972 he set up Triaina buying his first ship. In 1986 Triaina was renamed to Brave Maritime Corporation Inc. controlling a fleet of 6 dry cargo vessels despite the crisis. Brave was involved exclusively in the management of dry cargo vessels.

Harry Vafias graduated from Athens College in 1996 and studied Business Administration in the City University Business

School in London and received a Master’s degree in Shipping, Commerce and Transportation from Metropolitan University.

After his studies he established Stealth Maritime Corp and purchased 16 tankers (afras and vlcc’s) between 2000 and 2004.

In 2004 he carried out to sell 11 Stealth’s vessels securing outstanding profits.

Taking advantage of 25% of the net profits of this deal he set up StealthGas and in October 2005 the company entered Nasdaq Stock Exchange gathering $116m. Today stealthgas controls abt 20 pct of the global LPG market and has raised thus far usd 500 mill from the capital markets including having Michael Dell of DELL computers as the 2nd largest shareholder of the company.

The vafias family also control ESTATES CORPORATION inc a real estate investment co with holdings in Greece, Europe

and the USA. Harry vafias has been awarded by the NASDAQ as the youngest CEO of a US listed co and by lloyds list as

newsmaker of the year and tanker company of the year! Today, the group manages 86 ships of all types through 4 independent management arms of a combined fleet value of $2,1 billion.

Social Responsibility: Vafias family is also very active in the charity foundations. The Institution for Children with Special Needs “Hara” was incorporated in 1983 by parents and in 1986 mov ed to its own private facilities in Pallini. The children staying at the institution have a very low IQ and demand special care and living conditions. For the last 10 years Nikos Vafias is one of the biggest donors of the foundation. One of the latest donations was a school bus to transport the children. It is worthwhile to note that Harry Vafias has been an avid supporter of FLOGA and ARGO charity organizations

of the country. In the harmful fires of 2007 Vafias family donated money to the families of the firemen who were injured or killed. For its kind offer Vafias family was awarded from the Fire Rescue forces. In 2012 Nikos Vafias was the biggest sponsor of providing food for the people in need in Kifissia – Ekali and Erithrea Municipal. Finally, we must note that Vafias family is great sponsor forseveral charity activities in the island of Chios and especially in Ai Giorgis Sikousis where the family has its roots.

Victor Restis: “Focus on the expansion of the tanker fleet”

Victor Restis has invested in different shipping &business sectors in order to take advantage of the market’s opportunities and fluctuations. During his shipping career he has proved creative and hyperactive with the aim to expand the spectrum of activities of the family business empire. In 2016 he has proceeded to a double newbuilding order to be worth in excess of $110m. Mr. Victor Restis has ordered two 158.000dwt tankers with HHI. According to shipbrokers EST is set to pay around $57m for each of the tankers, with delivery likely in the first quarter of 2018. Today, the group has 17 products tankers under the group’s tanker arm, Golden Energy Management.

This means that an order of two new suezmaxes would effectively be Golden Energy’s first expansion in tankers since 2008.

It must be noted that Golden Energy’s and Enterprises Shipping & Trading (EST) latest newbuilding program was completed in 2012 with the delivery of a total of 38 ships of different kinds (26 bulkers and 12 tankers).

In an exclusive interview in ELNAVI during Posidonia 2016 Victor Restis noted: “Our tankers have been working with oil majors for many years now both on time charter and in the spot market rendering both steady cash flows while at the same

time short term opportunities arising from market peaks are seized”.

Today, Enterprises Shipping & Trading manages a diversified fleet of forty eight (48) vessels bulkers & tankers with a combined deadweight of 4.411.609 tons, as well as its associated company Golden Energy Offshore operates 8 PSV, DSV & ROV support and service vessels.

‘‘Contships’’ expands quickly in the Container Feeder sector

N.D.Pateras established ‘’Contships’’ in 2015 as an exclusive manager of container vessels in order to leverage on the group’s long tradition and experience.

Within 18 months ‘’Contships’’ has acquired 17 Container- Feeders and has invested around U$ 100 mill in this sector .

The latest acquisition is the ‘’ Contship Quo ‘’ built 2007 with 990 teu capacity. We understand that before the end of this y ear two more 900-1000 teu vessels will join the fleet built 2007 and 2008.

J.P. Samartzis Maritime exploits cyclicality to expand its fleet

Continuing a successful tradition of 40 years in shipping, J.P. Samartzis Maritime Enterprises Co S.A. exploits the opportunities of the current challenging market to expand its fleet with modern dry cargo vessels.

It is reminded that the company was established in 1977 by Capt. John P. Samartzis, a self-made and charismatic personality who has injected to the younger generation of the company the philosophy of careful and gradual growth.

The company is today represented by the nephews and succesorss of Capt. John Samartzis, namely Mr Takis Kourousias & Mr John Merkouris (2nd generation of JP Samartzis Maritime), who have set as their goal to modernize and organize the company to be able to cope with the difficult conditions of today’s freight market and also to strengthen its future position by exploiting opportunities arising in such market conditions.

ELNAVI met with the director and official representative of the company, Mr. John Merkouris and discussed on the company’s latest developments and future plans. Mr. Merkouris is an experienced and professional shipping executive with a remarkable banking background who has joined Samartzis Maritime almost since the beginning of its operation.

In 2016 J.P.Samartzis Maritime was very active aiming at the fleet expansion and acquiring modern dry cargo vessels.

Due to the fact that we had anticipated this collapse of the market, we had minimized our liabilities in respect to finances and loans, thus we were able to be in total control of our managerial decisions. From 2013 we started to exit the container market by removing 2 container ships M/V Hanjin Vancouver and Hanjin Kaohsiung from our fleet and had secured our Panamax box ship to a profitable time charter until recently. In 2013 we ordered 2 Supramax Aeroline type vessels “JPS Afroditi” and “JPS Elli” that were built in Tsuneishi Cebu yard. These vessels were delivered to us just recently, to what seems to be the end of the market crisis and as they are top of the line ships, and due to the crisis not many Owners could take the risk of ordering high quality vessels, we now have a competitive advantage in the freight market. Also this year, we viewed the collapsed state of the market as an opportunity to renew our fleet and decrease the average age of our vessels and increase our DWT. We sold our two vessels Voc Rose and Voc Daisy 47.000DWT built 1998 and we acquired MV JPS Barcelona 56.000DWT built 2010 and we are in search for similar deals, aiming to acquire newer and larger size vessels.

I believe that for the next 1-2 years the market will still remain on the low side but with some upwards fluctuations.

Today the newbuildings market seems very tempting with the low prices that are offered by yards, but owners should quite yet start ordering newbuildings as the market still seems to have oversupply. We should be reminded that the annual growth rate is at 3.1 y-o-y with an expected 3.4 in 2017, and after many years, it’s the first time that the increase in demand is expected to be greater than increase in supply at least in the dry bulk sector.

Regarding Private Equity Funds he says that they have a tremendous impact replacing bank finance. Mr. Merkouris points out that at the moment J.P. Samartzis Maritime has concluded its newbuilding program and has focused on acquiring second hand tonnage at attractive values. The decision of the company to order new ships in the future will depend on the newbuilding prices and new technologies such as LNG as fuel.

The technical management of the company has maintained the quality operations of the vessels emphasizing on fuel efficiency and excellent performance. Closing this interesting interview Mr. Merkouris told us that J.P.Samartzis Maritime will continue to exploit the attractive prices in the sectors of Supramax, Ultramax & Kamsarmaxes aiming at a modern fleet of younger, more efficient and bigger in capacity vessels.

Benelux Overseas aims at further specialization and growth in the LPG sector

Based on the vast experience and expertise in the LPG sector Benelux Overseas continuously expands its activities in this

demanding segment of shipping. Benelux Overseas Inc. has its roots at mid-80s when the ompany Galaxy Maritime

Enterprises was established in Dubai (UAE) by a mixed team of Greek maritime experts and marine engineers who mobilized

themselves in the area during the devastating war between Iran and Iraq. This team, which was actually a gathering of good

friends, performed unusual afloat repairs on the exploded vessels and exercising their capabilities and knowledge on a holistic service of the shipping activities on behalf of their business partners.

During that very difficult and challenging period, it was decided to apply the accumulated experience and establish a viable shipping company which is grown steadily ever since. Establishing and maintaining a high level of trust with clients has always been a top priority and the organization takes a great deal of pride on its few long-lasting relationships and the premium services it provides.

In 1997 the company moved in Greece emphasizing in the management of oil tankers, chemicals and LPG vessels. Afterwards the company was renamed to Benelux Overseas and focused on the management and ownership of LPG ships.

ELNAVI met Nikos Ioannou, Managing Director of Benelux Overseas, a maritime officer with almost 29years of experience on shipping sector who referred to the company’s achievements and future plans.

It must be noted that Mr. Ioannou is an active and highly driven professional who has graduate from Aspropyrgos Marine Academy and he served as Chief Engineer. He has also graduate from the University of Southampton as Naval Architect and he received professional specialization from numerous foreign institutions on the liquefied gas sector in particular

Mr. Ioannou described the company’s first steps: “We were established in Dubai (UAE) by people who are thinking with an engineering attitude. Thanks to our wonderful relations with many Arabian energy and trading companies at that period, we realized on early times the potentials of the petrochemicals’ industry in direct connection to the gas market. At that time this decision was deemed to be as too risky within the Greek shipping community as almost all Greek ship-owners were involved with either oil and product tankers or bulkers and container vessels.

“So we started with a mixed fleet of three product tankers and six gas carriers but very soon, after certain key management decisions, we expanded the gas carrier fleet and now we are exclusively operating a gas carriers’ fleet of various sizes and cargo containments, from fully pressurized to semi-pressurized and from fully refrigerated VLGCs to ethylene carriers with a gross volume of liquefied gas trade which in some periods can exceed the 2 million MT per year.”

Benelux Overseas Inc. after her recent ships’ recycle plan is currently operating a fleet of 16 gas carriers, in sizes up to 55,000 MT, with many of them to be newbuilt vessels. “The new additions have strengthened Benelux Overseas Inc. because the mean age of our fleet has been reduced,” said Mr. Nikos Ioannou. “This gives an advantage to our trading team as they can diversify our preferred carrying cargo list to more difficult but more profitable cargoes. The capacity of a cargo plant for a

gas carrier is crucial for its carrying performance and the cargo list is dependent on its selected design. The modern designs are more efficient and more reliable, enhancing the operators’ planning and can survive within the forthcoming highly regulated shipping environment.”

He continued: “the recent years we added one more liquefied ethylene gas (LEG) carrier to our fleet named GAS ODYSSEY after a famous ancient Greek hero who was also a great seafarer and genius craftsman. We choose this name due to the numerous improvements featured on this vessel, which have resulted in her being announced as one of the most distinguished vessels of the year of her construction. This semi-pressurized design includes many new parameters taken directly from our operational experience. We redesigned the hull (protected E/R tanks, reduced outflow HFO tanks, rearrangement of ballast tanks and new weights’ distribution), added more efficient and reliable engines for M/E & A/E and a Ballast Water Treatment System, full ECDIS navigation, bridge with paperless chartroom, MGO operation of aux. boiler and advanced fleet broadband communications and tracking. The cargo piping was also modified in order to carry two different refrigerated cargoes and to refrigerate them simultaneously but separately. “All of these improvements have resulted in a much more efficient vessel design for the benefit of her owner and also for the marketing department of the shipbuilder who can share this improved design with other owners.”

The company engages its fleet trading within the Mediterranean, Black Sea, extensively in Egypt, in the Arabian Gulf and recently in the Far East and to East African emerging markets. “After the recent additions we are also seeking further opportunities in the gas markets in south Europe for LPG shipping and we are planning to expand our presence on ethylene shipping between the Middle East and the Far East,” Mr. Ioannou noted.

“We are working on a new project for the design of a semi-pressurized 22,000cbm vessel, in order to facilitate our future needs and gradually replace the existing ‘old ladies’ in our fleet due to the Hong Kong convention. Discussions are in progress with major shipbuilders in Korea and in China. The experience on gas carriers’ construction and of course the financial flexibility of the shipbuilders will be the key factors prior to selection.”

The new vessels will be offered to Benelux Overseas Inc.’s customers, with which it already maintains a high level of trust, based on its specializations and the high scores it has achieved on various third party inspections. “We have had zero detention records and almost 98% efficiency – as per our KPIs – on cargo deliveries for many years even within the crisis,” commented Mr. Nikos Ioannou. Another key strength of Benelux Overseas Inc. is its strong management team, which has accrued many years of experience on gas carriers in general and on ship-to-ship cargo operations in particular. “We don’t want to hire a management company like most of the other players in the gas market in Greece, we operate all our fleet vessels by ourselves and keeping this experience in-house is very beneficial. Also by organizing and mobilizing in-house technical teams on a 24/7 basis we can ensure an uninterrupted trading pattern to our charterers. The employments of our vessels is close to 99% per annum for the last 10 years and the remarkable fact is that we are performing on an average

Mr. Nikos Ioannou, Managing Director of Benelux Overseas basis three ship to ship operations daily without any delay or incident. Our company receives high reputation on the Middle East & North Africa region enabling us to engage our fleet as the major supplier of several national energy companies. ” added Mr. Ioannou.

Working in a challenging market means that Benelux Overseas Inc. has to be flexible and ready to adapt to changing needs. As Mr. Ioannou concluded, the company is always looking for new opportunities to expand its activities. “Our plans for 2017  include the expansion of our fleet with more vessels and to finalize our discussions on new building projects in order to increase our shipping capacities,” he confirmed. “Our strategic vision is to become the leader on liquefied gas trading in the regions of our trade pattern and to strengthen our position on LPG shipping in general by the introduction of more modern semi-pressurized vessels worldwide which can expand our trading areas and expectations.”

Maria Theodorou: “Aiming in quality and effective shipmanagement”

Following a remarkable tradition in the demanding shipping sector Maria Theodorou director of Theomar SHIPMANAGEMENT CORP aims in quality management and further expansion of the company’s fleet.

Maria Theodorou initiated the secrets of ship management next to her father Mr. Ioannis Theodorou, president of Theomar

and Mr. Thomas Voultsos, vice president of the company. Theodorou family entered the shipping sector in 2001.

Mrs. Maria Theodorou explains how the company has managed to weather the consequences of the shipping crisis: “Our company has managed to absorb the consequences of the crisis exploiting its long-term relationship with Piraeus Bank and employing its vessels under medium term period charters.

Theomar SHIPMANAGEMENT CORP currently manages 3 dry cargo vessels, 1 handymax built 2000, 1 supramax built 2010 and 1 panamax built in 2000, all constructed in quality Japanese and Chinese shipyards, Thuneishi, Sanoyas & Cosco.

We have followed a careful policy in coordination with our banks aiming to secure a steady cash flow for the vessels’ demands and taking advantage of the market opportunities”.

Regarding the company’s policy in the fields of energy efficiency and effective management Mrs. Theodorou points out that: “We comply with all the international standards that are related with SEEMP (Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan) new EU MRV requirements & Ballast Water Management regulations.

We must note that a small and medium size shipping company is very difficult to survive in the current overregulated environment although I believe that the Greek shipowner knows very well to adjust in all market conditions”.

Finally Mrs. Theodorou refers to the future plans of the company : “Our target is to expand our fleet carefully and progressively assuming the management of the company despite the difficulties of the market as I explained before. Theomar counts on its personnel’s expertise and experience operating as a solid team for the benefit of the company”.

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