TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements


The Fraternity of Athens Hydriots organised, on the historic island of Hydra, the 'Hydra Maritime Conference', September 17, in the conference Hall of the Holy Cathedral of Hydra. Titled 'Are we experiencing the other side of midnight?' the event was attended by leading Greek shipowners, senior executives of shipping companies and companies operating in the shipping industry, consultants, academics and members of historical shipping families of Hydra.
Conference president was George A. Tsavliris, president, Tsavliris Salvage Group, and the keynote speaker was Simeon Palios, president, Diana Shipping Services. Participants in the discussion groups were Angie Hartmann, StarBulk, executive VP - Crew Affairs; Manolis Vordonis, former executive director of Thenamaris Ship Management; Panos Zachariadis, technical director, Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management; John Platsidakis, honorary president Intercargo; Kostis Stampolis, founding Partner, Institute for Energy of SE Europe (IENE); Stavros Hatzigrigoris, Advanced Engineering Services and other shipping personalities. 

The event was under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Shipping, the Greek Shipping Chamber, The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association ( HELMEPA ), the Energy Institute of South East Europe, the Piraeus Marine Club, the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club ( HORC ) and Tsakos Group.


Mr John Sahinis, the President of the Fraternity of the Athenian Hydriots, welcomed esteemed guests and inaugurated the work of the 13th Shipping Conference of Hydra, informing the audience of the aim of the Fraternity since its foundation in the late 19th century on the island of Hydra :interventions on national issues, preservation of Hydra's contribution to the country, the island's promotion via various activities every year – such as keeping in touch with philhellenes, charitable donations, protection of the environmental and architectural heritage, and attracting Greece's youth to the nautical profession. Mr Sahinis thanked the institutional bodies of the shipping industry for sponsoring the conference as well as the sponsors for their support.
In addition, Mr Sahinis thanked Mr Nikos Efthimiou, Former President of the Union of Greek Shipowners, for his honorable presence.
Mr George Tsavliris, Chairman of the Conference, stressed the importance of adaptability in shipping – in the words of Charles Darwin noted Mr Tsavliris, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change". Mr Tsavliris added that the changes in shipping require adaptability and innovation in all matters concerning the environment and social responsibility. Mr Tsavliris encouraged the participants and audience to 'think out of the box' and in so doing, created a most stimulating discussion and debate – which kept everyone's interest at a peak until the very end of the conference!

In his key note presentation, Mr Simeon Palios, made reference to the traditional financing of the 1960's when he began his shipping career and Williams & Glyn's Bank dominated in Piraeus and supported the plans of Greek shipowners. With the entry of Antonis Angelicoussis' company in 1986 in the NY Stock Exchange, there came a revolution in shipping. However, this movement was incomplete and was not followed by other shipowners. Today, as we are all aware, noted Mr Palios, the stock market offers great possibilities. A listed shipping company has access to international capital from countries all over the world. However continued Mr Palios, there is a view that a shipowner stands to lose the management of his company with his entry in the stock exchange. Diana Shipping which was listed in 2015 on the NY Stock Exchange, although 85% of company shares were allocated to foreign investors, control of Diana Shipping has not been lost because there is trust in the management team and the fleet expansion policy, said Mr Palios. Mr Simeon Palios advised that the cost to enter the stock market is 7%.

Mr Antonis Mavrakakis replied that due to the fact that being listed in the stock market is a concern for many professions, the real cost is much greater than 7%.

Mr Nikos Tsavliris, Principal at Tsavliris Salvage Group and Mr John Platsidakis, Former Managing Director at Anangel Shipping Enterprises, asked Mr Palios how he is protected from hedge funds and their respective aggressive movements so as to regulate the price of shares. Mr Palios advised that there are strict regulations pertaining to transparency and discipline in the NY Stock Exchange and it is very difficult for hedge funds to cause unwanted disruption to a healthy organization. There are numerous ways to enter the stock market for the smaller shipowner with various investment packages such as spacs said Mr Palios, as long as one has a transparent and reliable method of operation. Mr Platsidakis stressed that Antonis Angelicoussis was the first in 1986 who listed the company on the NY Stock Exchange, distributing 25% of the company shares to foreign investors. In so doing noted Mr Platsidakis, he gave the foreign investors the right to decide for the future of the company, an initiative which reflected trust and transparency. In any event said Mr Platsidakis, in 2001, the late John Angelicoussis made the right decision to withdraw the company for the stock market and to operate it as a private firm.
Mr Emmanuel Vordonis referred to his own journey and pointed out that he focused on the quality of shipping transportation. Mr Vordonis noted that feels that the stock market creates a 'hazy' market which allows dozens of other professions to make loads of money by collecting commissions and fees, which have absolutely nothing to do with the purpose and work of shipping.
Mr Panos Laskaridis, accomplished shipowner, emphasized that today there are numerous methods of financing available in the market which will continue to exist in the future. As such, the shipowner has a wide range of options for the implementation of his investments. Mr Laskaridis also focused on technological development and environmental regulations which make the decision to build new ships most difficult. Mr Antonis Mavrakakis replied to Mr Laskaridis that in the end, we will be forced by the organizations and bodies that are working for the reduction of CO2, to use hydrogen.

Mr John Maragoudakis President of the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC), said that the automation of ships poses new challenges and carries the risk of losing our maritime know-how.
Mr Nicolas Tsavliris noted that Greek Shipping flourished on the backs of competent Greek crews and traditional Greek family business acumen. Nowadays, said Mr Nicolas Tsavliris, all the crews are basically the same and most shipowners are large corporate entities. The Greeks no longer have the competitive advantage. Mr Laskaridis disagreed with this viewpoint given he said that in the last 15 years, Greek shipowners have increased their fleets in comparison to Chinese and Japanese shipowners and this is due to the intuition and risk appetite of Greek shipowners, said Mr Laskaridis.
Mr Thanos Papadopoulos said that smaller companies can enter the NY Stock Exchange – it is just that the risk of such an initiative has greatly increased and thus has the cost. There are numerous other ways to enter the stock market, said Mr Papadopoulos such as SPACS, SPVs or other 'vehicles' with companies that are already listed and which with their acquisition – we have the case of 'reverse merger' and thus the company is listed in the stock market.

The pivotal role of energy in relation to shipping was acknowledged and emphasized in three presentations by esteemed speakers in the context of the 13th annual Hydra Shipping Conference.
In the first presentation, Mr Andreas Andrianopoulos expressed that the war in Ukraine has brought into the forefront various problems and weaknesses of European policies. Primarily, the sanctions imposed upon Russia have hitherto proved ineffective, vague and counterproductive.
They are ineffective, because Russia has received at least double the amount of money for its energy exports than the year before the war. If the Russian economy is getting richer, what is the meaning of sanctions?
They are vague because it is not clear what kind of activities are sanctioned and which are allowed as far as European businesses are concerned. Russian energy exports to Europe are allowed provided they are done by means of pipelines. However, transporting Russian gas and oil by ships is not allowed. Or is it allowed? It is not entirely clear, besides the fact that it is essentially absurd. What is exactly sanctioned, the Russian product or the European owned means of transport? Totally incomprehensive!
The sanctions are counterproductive because they are devastating for the European economies while, for the time being, do not have any essential negative effect upon Russia's public finances. What is the meaning of initiating actions aiming to hit the aggressor in the war in Ukraine, namely Russia, while missing the target entirely. There is also the fact that there are other countries profiting from this situation. The USA and Qatar make tremendous profits by supplying energy products, mainly natural gas, to Europe due to sanctions against Russia.
There should be other measures, mainly political and diplomatic, to be taken against Russia in place of the economic sanctions. So that Europe and its shipping industry should not carry such a heavy burden. One obvious measure should be to persuade the approximately 40% of nations around the world who keep a hands-off approach to the crisis, and serve as willing political and business clients to Russia, to join the group of countries - mainly western - who stand by Ukraine. This obviously means cost of political capital to some, mainly to the USA. But it has to be done. It is unreasonable that Europe should carry almost alone and unassisted the cost of this war.

Mr Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director of Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management stressed the critical issue of the new low emission fuels which all shipping companies are required to adopt and use in the coming years, in the context of their compliance with IMO directives. Shipping companies are having to proceed with the appropriate conversions of their ships or in some cases, completely renewing their fleet. In his detailed presentation, Mr Panos Zachariadis described all the technologies that are currently being promoted at a global level, including LNG, Hydrogen, Ammonia and Methanol.
Today. latter technologies appear to be competitive with one another but this is not an accurate reflection of the shipping market and its need for safe and environmentally acceptable fuels, observed Mr Zachariadis. In a detailed comparative study of all of the previously mentioned technologies and fuels taking into account the environmental factors, the risks involved and the cost, Methanol emerges as the most suitable fuel. Mr Zachariadis emphasized during his presentation that the use of Methanol does not require special adjustments to the technological and mechanical equipment of ships, with its combustion as the main propulsion fuel - comparing same to diesel – and achieving even greater efficiencies.
Mr Costis Stambolis, Founding Partner of SE Europe stressed that an unprecedented energy crisis has unfolded in the last 14-18 months with steep rises in oil, gas, coal and electricity. He stressed that it is a far worse crises than the ones we incurred in 1973 and 1979 given that it has affected the whole spectrum of energy sources. The fundamental reasons behind the crisis appear to be a real supply shortage as the global economy has expanded exceedingly fast in the post Covid 19 period. Europe is worse hit as the continent has to import from Russia and elsewhere more than 60% of the energy it consumes. The energy crisis has been further exacerbated by an ill-conceived EU embargo against Russian oil gas and coal imports. A predicted global economic recession may curb demand Mr Stambolis pointed out but this is expected to be marginal, while oil and gas supply shortages are expected to influence a lot more price dynamics. As demand for oil and gas especially LNG is not expected to wane any time soon, the outlook for increased shipping activity is expected to remain strong with freight rates maintaining for some time their current elevated level, concluded Mr Stambolis.
Mr Stavros Hadjigrigoris stressed the need to consider the price and availability of various future fuels in every analysis relevant to the possibility of their future use. Another issue is the support from major oil companies of various future fuels that causes fragmentation of the relevant research and the need to create multiple networks for production, transport and distribution. In addition, Mr Hadjigrigoris mentioned that the use of nuclear energy can be an alternative solution based on the 'molten salt' technology for which an experimental reactor will be ready in 2024 /2025. The solution is actively supported by the United States and the United Kingdom, said Mr Hadjigrigoris. The companies that promote nuclear power promise to include in the price of the reactor, the fee for the engineers who will take over its operation for twenty years until the time of need to enrich the fuel. He reminded that 30 years ago, the Internet was only available for military use, as such new technologies should not be excluded.
Mr Michalis Tsamados, Member of the Fraternity of the Athenian Hydriots, gave an enlightening presentation on the melting of polar ice caps in the North Pole as global warming causes climate change.

The President of the Athenian Hydriots Mr John Sahinis, took the stand and thanked Mr Panos Laskaridis with the words: Mr Laskaridis effected his duty as a true patriot, covering the cost of upgrading the electric engines of ships of our navy and other needs. Mr Laskaridis has also donated 3 ships of general support and multiple capability, the HERCULES, the ATLAS and the AIAS. We hope that he will continue with relentless drive, as Admiral Kountouriotis would say, to serve as an example to all Greeks, shipowners and non-shipowners alike. We consider it our duty to award Honorary Admiral Mr Laskaridis. We were going to present Mr Laskaridis this award in 2020 together with Member of the Board of Directors of the Athenian Hydriots, great grandson of Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis, Ambassador Alexios Pavlos Stefanou who regretfully has passed away.

Mr George Tsavliris noted that the conference was one of the most successful conferences that he has been honored to chair to date, given the caliber of speakers, the topics of discussion and controversial debates and record physical attendance.

For more information, presentations and photos from the event, please visit the website: http://www.aya.com.gr