Leading Greek shipowners George Economou and Nikolas Tsakos took rather differing views on diversification into offshore:
Dryships boss Economou thought it is the best idea since sliced bread: “So the offshore sector is a sector we moved in and urge everyone in Greece to follow, in not quite so much how we got involved, but there are a lot of sectors related to shipping because the margins are better.”
Meanwhile Tsakos, chief of Tsakos Energy Navigation, was more interested in bread and butter: "I think we have a lot of responsibility for this [low return]. Instead of us looking at which is the next industry to destroy, we should fix our existing industry which is the bread and butter of Greek shipowning. [We should] stay out of oversupplying other industries."
At the opening of Posidonia 2014 Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke of the resurgence of Greek shipping: “The economic potential of the Greek commercial fleet and the strategic positioning of Greece in future world commerce are gaining power by the day.”
Man of the moment Emanuele Lauro chairman of Scorpio Group revealed a turning point in its development: "We realised we were buying the wrong assets. We went out to our investors, we raised our hands and said we'd made a mistake.”
Coming to the markets and Euronav chief Paddy Rodgers was blunt in his views on the impact of ordering too many large tankers: “What we all have to understand is if you build too many ships you kill everybody, you don’t just kill yourself.”
And Rodgers was less than impressed with how chapter 11 is being used by shipping companies in the US: “We’re being shafted by the market and the way the vetting system works, and shipowners who aren’t competitive and who don’t have the edge get protection from the courts and write off capital hugely at expense of the banks and the shareholders.”
Commenting on raising money in the capital markets Evangelos Marinakis chairman of Capital Product Partners: "I think that was is important is that when you are able to raise capital on the markets, you should do it then rather than wait until you need capital,"
ABS chief Christopher Wiernicki set out what expects to be the focus of ship design over the next decade: “Between now and 2025 the big focus will be on the environmental regulations, on trying to improve the fuel consumption, reset speed versus fuel consumption requirements.”
DNV GL’s Tor Svensen warned on the rising rate of accidents in shipping: “Crew fatalities are 10 times higher than land-based best practice. We do not have a global system where we can learn from accidents.”
Jeanne Grasso a partner with Blank Rome explained what shipowners and managers need to do to comply with US regulations: “I think in all the issues we deal with, where there's transparency and accuracy, I don't think I have ever seen that get a company in significant trouble."
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