MT Kerala: tale of George Procopiou's recovered product carrier

Pirates disabled the vessel’s AIS and other communication equipment so that the vessel could not be tracked from shore or satellite, painted over the identifying features of the vessel, including funnel, name and IMO number and undertook three separate ship-to-ship transfers of cargo amounting to the theft of approximately 12,271.5mt of cargo.

The owners of the Liberian-flag KERALA regained contact with the vessel on January 26, 2014, shortly after the pirates had disembarked. The vessel then immediately set a course for the safety of the port of Tema, Ghana, as a port of refuge.

A gang of Nigerian pirates reportedly stole a tugboat and sailed south into Angolan waters on January 18, 2014 where they attacked the oil products tanker carrying 60,000 metric tons of diesel, a few miles off the coast of Luanda, the capital of Angola.The Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities route, which covers an immense area extending from the Guinean coast to offshore Angola, has now become a piracy hotspot, where pirates attack oil tankers and other cargo vessels. They seize large oil tankers and load oil onto other ships to sell on the lucrative black market.

[March 3 2013]

Panama-flagged MV Royal Grace, a chemical tanker which was captured on March 2, 2012, and the Greek-owned oil tanker Smyrni, seized on May 11, 2012, are heading to Salalah, Oman.  
Mumbai: Due to coordinated actions of Ministry of Shipping, External Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs, Director General Shipping and other important agencies, on March 8 we could get release of two vessels MV Royal Grace hijacked in March 2012 and MT Smrini hijacked in May 2012. Twenty eight Indian sailors held hostage by Somali pirates have been released. The sailors were on board two ships Merchant Tanker Royal Grace and Merchant Tanker Smyrni and 17 were on board the MT Royal Grace and 11 were on board the MT Smyrni.
The Indian sailors have been released but they are yet to reach a safe zone. Both the ships were hijacked off the coast of Somalia in 2012.
Shipping Minister GK Vasan made the announcement in Chennai, saying the government secured the release of the sailors on board the two vessels due to coordinated efforts of the Ministries of Shipping, External Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs, Director General Shipping and other agencies. "I am very happy to announce the release of Indian seafarers. Due to coordinated actions of Ministry of Shipping, External Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs, Director General Shipping and other important agencies, on Friday we could get release of two vessels MV Royal Grace hijacked in March 2012 and MT Smrini hijacked in May 2012," Vasan told reporters in Chennai.
                After failing to receive help from the Government of India, the families of 17 Indian crew members of the MV Royal Grace sought help of a Pakistani-based activist Ansar Burney.   Burney, who runs the Ansar Burney Trust, was earlier successful in freeing the crew of MV Suez in June 2011, during another hijacking by Somali pirates
[June 5, 2012]

The tanker is near Bargaal. Pirates on board the Smyrni claim they are planning to move south to Garacad area and then onto Harardhere and Hobyo in Galmadug. Or they will move north to the northern tip of Puntland in Qandala or Caluula or south into Galmadug outside the operational area of Puntland. 
The market value of the crude oil loaded in Turkey and destined for refining in eastern Borneo is around $115 million.

George Procopiou 

The Liberian-flagged Tanker, the M/T SMYRNI,Imo 9493779 is carrying a cargo of 135000 MT of crude oil managed by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. (with a further 40 vessels in the fleet)  was attacked by 2 pirate skiffs approximately 285nm SSE of Masirah Island, Oman. and  hijacked while it was transiting the Arabian Sea.   No communications have been received from the ship since the ship was boarded.

The attack occurred at 0930 UTC, May 10.

Ship Type: Oil products tanker
Year Built: 2011
Length x Breadth: 275 m X 48 m
Gross Tonnage: 83562, DeadWeight: 149998 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 9 / 9 knots
Flag: Liberia [LR] 
Call Sign: A8YB6
IMO: 9493779, MMSI: 636015015 

Owner:Pisces Finance Ltd.
Class Society:American Bureau of ShippingOperator:Pisces Finance Ltd. / Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd.

Pisces Finance II Limited was incorporated in 2002 and is based in Cricket Square, Cayman Islands.
Mr. George Procopiou Founded Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. and serves as its Chairman of the Board. Mr. Procopiou serves as Director of The North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association Limited.Dynacom Tankers Management, Ltd., a shipping company, operates cargo vessels for the oil industry. It operates a fleet of double hulls, very large crude carriers (VLCC), tankers, and LNG carriers. The company was founded in 1991 and is based in Athens, Greece with additional offices in Bombay and New Delhi, India; Singapore, Singapore; Fujaira, the United Arab Emirates; and a representation in Beijing, China.

94 Vas Georgiou B/2 Nikis Street
Athens,  166 75
Founded in 1991
George J. Procopiou’s business card states that his title is Civil Engineer. That fits very well with the personal style of Dynacom, a family-operated company in Glyfada, just outside Athens in Greece.

But the impression of a family-owned and -operated shipowner confirms the commitment to shipping and to running a professional company. It is hands-on for Mr Procopiou, whose company will take delivery of no fewer than 21 newbuildings next year. “Running Dynacom is both our business and hobby,” says Procopiou, underlining that it is teamwork that creates success and not a one-man show. Transforming Dynacom from a company operating basically second-hand tonnage into the present-day operator of a young fleet with an ambitious newbuilding programme is quite an achievement, and we are pleased to have an opportunity to learn more about the company from the very engaged George Procopiou, Civil Engineer, who occupies the corner office.“Since 2000, we’ve ordered no fewer than 85 newbuildings, and next year (2009) we will take delivery of another 21 vessels. We have good in-house expertise on newbuildings and on what we should look for when it comes to additions and changes to the yard designs. Normally, when we go through the specifications we end up with some USD 4–6 million in additions. This means that we take delivery of vessels made to our specifications, and the important thing here is that these vessels are as attractive to us as they are to potential users” says Procopiou.

One of the main reasons for Dynacom’s success is the company’s in-depth knowledge of shipping acquired over a long-term period. The company has first-rate operational and technical knowledge of the vessels. “The enthusiasm for what we do in terms of shipping experience and know-how makes our people stay on – we are all very proud of our achievements as we all identify ourselves very strongly with our company. 
The fleet today comprises some 50 vessels – mostly tankers and some LNG carriers,” he says.

Fuel prices are on the way up, as has been the case for a while. Engine manufacturers must maintain a focus on achieving the best possible fuel consumption and least possible emissions. Slowing down 
vessels to reduce the per mile fuel consumption and consequently emissions is 
of course a quick fix for air pollution issue. It is the engine makers task to design and build engines with lower 
emission levels. 
A longer term solution might be in switching from fuel oil to LNG. 
On the suggestion that larger vessels could be more environment friendly, this is a complex issue as many factors have 
to be in line to enable the use of larger 
vessels, such as port sizes water depth, shore installations. All such topics should be addresses simultaneously and under the spectrum of the global effects on 
pollution and not the regional ones.

The move into the highly specialised LNG business, which used to be a rather closed business segment with particularly high standards, confirms Dynagas’s commitment to shipping and energy transportation and it achieved due to the company’s high standards and knowledge. “The age of our LNG vessels is less then two years The LNG market is soft for the time being, but I strongly believe that this will change over time. Two main reasons for this are that using coal for power production is not all that environmentally acceptable in many countries and, with the soaring prices for oil products, power production based on oil will have to be reduced. In many countries, nuclear power is either banned or has a bad public image. That leaves natural gas, as it is much more environmentally friendly with lower levels of CO2 emissions and almost no SOx and NOx emissions. Some projects have been delayed as the LNG production facilities either have not been finished in time or are experiencing technical problems. But the orders for ships are there and right now there are too many vessels waiting 

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