Greek marine equipment makers and Greek shipowners are to work together to promote ships' equipment developed and manufactured in Greece. Though the two have been cooperating for sometime, the Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers & Exporters (Hemexpo) and Greece's powerful Marine Technical Managers Association (Martecma) are to formally create a working group to promote their joint activities.


Helen Polychronopoulou, president of Hemexpo, revealed the formal cooperation at the 'Support the Local Maritime Industry Summit', in Athens, March 28. She said Hemexpo is going to attend Martecma meetings and visa versa. At the same time a number of leading Greek shipowners through Martecma are going to push for Asian and European shipbuilders 'makers lists' "to become as detailed as possible" and they insist this should include Greek manufacturers.

Indeed, Martecma chairman, Stavros Hatzigrigoris, md of the Angelicoussis group's Maran Gas Maritime, is adamant Greek makers produce "important equipment items which should be made available to owners contracting newbuildings". He also hoped that one day soon a newbuilding contract would be signed at the same time as one specifying what equipment is to go onboard rather than as is now the case where two rounds of negotiating are involved first the building contract and then one involving the equipment.

Vassilis Papageorgiou, vice president of the Tsakos Group, agreed saying many of the items manufactured in the shipbuilders' home marketplace and are going on new ships are not as competitive or up to the standard of Greek made products and quickly have to be replaced. Both Tsakos and Angelicoussis are working with Greek manufacturers as are some 25 or so major Greek owners which regularly appear on Greek company client reference lists.

Papageorgiou noted established South Korean makers, "are under pressure because of the difficulties facing shipyards and as a result are making it extremely difficult for makers outside the home marketplace". He said "owners have to support Hemexpo to expand its presence in the international marketplace", but warned, "it's easier to gain a name than keep it". He said Greek makers must "find representatives in countries building ships, rather than depend on agents".

Costamare Shipping's director, Dimitris Tsalapatis, a veteran in the international world of marine equipment manufacturers, warned Hemexpo that after sales service is the top priority. He also said Greeks have to knock on doors not only in Asia but also in Europe, noting "many in the shipping market watch what the Greeks are doing". "For example Norwegians appreciate the Greeks and Greek shipping," he said.

Shipping company delegates generally agreed with Hatzigrigoris, Papageorgiou and summit chairman, John Kokarakis, of Bureau Veritas, that makers have to be ready to take advantage of the pick-up in ship newbuilding orders, with Hatzigrigoris saying "the world fleet has to be renewed". Papageorgiou said new fuel and environmental demands will "see shipbuilding boom again because many ships will be demolished".

Filed: 2017-03-28