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3rd IENE International Seminar on Energy & Shipping Focused on Key Energy and Maritime Issues

3rd IENE International Seminar on Energy & Shipping Focused on Key Energy and Maritime IssuesA number of prominent speakers from the oil and gas sector, from the shipping sector, international and business studies and maritime law from Greece and abroad participated in the "3rd International Seminar - Energy & Shipping”, which was jointly organized by the Institute of Energy for SE Europe (IENE) and the University of Piraeus (Master in Energy: Strategy, Law & Economics), and took place in Athens (Eugenides Foundation Conference Centre, Faliron) on April 20, 2016

A number of prominent speakers from the oil and gas sector, from the shipping sector, international and business studies and maritime law from Greece and abroad participated in the "3rd International Seminar - Energy & Shipping”, which was jointly organized by the Institute of Energy for SE Europe (IENE) and the University of Piraeus (Master in Energy: Strategy, Law & Economics), and took place in Athens (Eugenides Foundation Conference Centre, Faliron) on April 20, 2016.

As a large percentage of crude oil and its derivatives, of coal and other energy products is carried by Greek-owned vessels, while Greek ship owners participate, increasingly and more actively, in the transportation of specialized energy cargoes (LNG, LPG), IENE was prompted to organize for the third time this special event, in collaboration this time with the University of Piraeus and a number of ship operators and energy traders.

The Seminar opened with remarks by the organizers, i.e. IENE’s Executive Director, Mr. Costis Stambolis, and Dr. N. Farantouris, Jean Monnet Professor of Law & Director of Master in Energy at the University of Piraeus, followed by Mr. Nicolas Vernicos, President of ICC Hellas. The latter predicted that Greek ship-owners will dare order large vessels with RES and LNG as a fuel.

The first session, on global energy markets, cargoes and shipping, was moderated by Mr. Christos Dimas (MoB of IENE and Chairman of the Hellenic – Russian Chamber of Commerce, Athens). Mr. Costis Stambolis, in his speech, stressed that, in the long run, the price of natural gas supplies through pipelines and LNG will converge, and LNG itself will become a primary fuel.

According to Mr. Alexandros Spondylidis (Tanker Chartering Executive, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd), the fall of oil prices has formed a new market environment for shipping, as freight rates have surged, whereas, in the meantime, the demand for vessels is raised and the cost of fuels has drastically fallen. As for the future, Mr. Spondylidis was concerned by the rapid buildup in the number of vessels, while the "window of optimism” will remain open only if the crude price stays low.

The next speaker, the Executive Director of Strategy, Development, Administration & IT in Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) S.A., Mr. Georgios Polychroniou, stressed the need for the port of Piraeus, as well as other Greek ports, to develop LNG infrastructure. He also characterized LNG as the most "dynamic” fuel, although, for the moment, it covers only 10% of the global natural gas market.

The Marine Technology & Innovation Manager, of Hellenic Lloyd’s S.A., Mr. Panayiotis Mitrou, referred to the regulatory challenges shipping will be facing by 2025, as, in the midterm, new laws and regulations will come into force. He also stressed the importance of new EU directive for reducing sulfur content of vessel fuels.

The legal issues related to energy maritime transportation were the subject of the second session, with Professor Farantouris as its moderator. Dr. Antonios Tsavdaridis (Lecturer in Law at Thrace University Law school, Partner, Head of Arbitration, I.K. Rokas & Partners Law Firm), Dr. George Panagopoulos (Managing Partner, Reed Smith -Greece), and Mrs. Christina Hioureas (Foley Hoag New York), described and analyzed, each one from their own perspective, legal issues in energy commodities and shipping, energy cargoes, liabilities and arbitration issues, the difference between arbitration and mediation, insurance coverage issues, as well as security issues related to energy cargoes.

The last session of the joint IENE/University of Piraeus International Seminar on Energy & Shipping focused on LNG/ LPG markets and security considerations. Moderated by IENE’s Executive Director, Mr. Costis Stambolis, this session provided an outlook on global LNG market, and also covered issues on LNG new ships and LNG trading, LPG markets, drill ships, small scale LNG, LNG as marine fuel, as well as security issues. This session’ speakers included Mr. Alexandros Chiotopoulos, Regional Office East Med., Black & Caspian Seas of DNV GL Maritime, and Mrs. Marika Karayianni, Energy Expert at the Democritus University of Thrace.

The "3rd International Seminar - Energy & Shipping” was sponsored by Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) S.A. and the POSEIDON MED ΙΙ LNG Bunkering Project, whereas Media Partners included www.energia.gr, Greece’s leading energy portal and specialized shipping website www. maritimes.gr.

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