Greece’s Atlas Maritime pounces on suezmax slots at DH Shipbuilding

Leon Patitsas and partners make big move in fresh tanker order worth at least $168m

Busy Greek tanker ordering continued at a brisk pace this week, with news emerging about a deal for up to four suezmaxes at South Korea’s DH Shipbuilding.

Several market sources in Greece and the Far East said the order is by Greece’s Atlas Maritime for two firm and two optional 158,000-dwt units, priced at about $84m each.

The order represents a departure for Atlas principal Leon Patitsas, whose tanker activities had been so far focused on aframax crude carriers and LR2 product tankers.

The suezmaxes Atlas is ordering now will comply with the latest environmental and regulatory standards, being scrubber-fitted and dual-fuel-ready for either methanol or LNG propulsion.

Another plus is the early delivery dates of the two firm ships, the completion of which is scheduled for the second half of 2025 and early 2026.

Sources said this is due to the fact that the slots had been previously booked by a third party, which did not follow up on its own shipbuilding project.

DH Shipbuilding did not find it difficult to find a replacement for the slots.

Atlas has been a trusted partner of the yard. The firm suezmaxes are the 10th and 11th ships that it is booking since 2020 at the company previously known as Daehan Shipbuilding.

If the optional vessels are declared as well, the number will rise to 13.

Shipowners, particularly from Greece, have been busy ordering tankers lately, attracted by orderbooks that are rising but still low compared with long-term averages.

According to Clarksons, the newbuilding-to-active-fleet ratio in terms of tonnage stands at 5.9% in July. This is up from a historical low of 2.2% in October last year but still well below a five-year average of 7.6% and a 10-year average of 11.3%.

Tanker orders stagnated last year, amid owners’ uncertainty about future environmental standards and perceptions that market fundamentals for the business were poor.

However, pressure from ageing fleets and a benign market outlook in the wake of the war in Ukraine, which put energy security concerns at the forefront of policymakers’ minds, has encouraged several owners to start ordering again.

Greeks have been leading that trend. TradeWinds data shows Hellenic players signing up to about 50 firm tankers over the past four months.

Atlas has been ahead of the curve in that respect, ordering tankers even when almost nobody else did, at rock-bottom prices during the height of the Covid pandemic.

Greeks’ favourite yard, DH Shipbuilding, has won another order from Athens. Photo: DH Shipbuilding

As TradeWinds reported, the company had flipped several of these LR2 newbuildings by the time they were delivered, at jaw-dropping profit margins.

Atlas, which has been ordering car carriers as well, has been teaming up with financial partners in its projects.

TradeWinds reported last month how Atlas, Denmark’s European Maritime Finance (EMF) and Concord Maritime concluded a profitable deal to sell an older aframax to India.

TradeWinds understands that EMF is a partner in the suezmax newbuildings as well.

Read on tradewindsnews.com

Mirannia Petrocheilou

PURCHASING MANAGER

Mirannia joined Atlas in July 2014 as Purchasing Manager. Prior to joining the company she held various positions of increasing responsibility giving her the qualifications and skills of leading and executing purchasing strategies She holds an MBA from University of Leicester, UK and she is a graduate of Maritime Studies at the University of Piraeus. She is responsible for sourcing, negotiating and purchasing of goods, materials and services to meet the ship’s and company’s budget and operational requirements. As a purchasing Manager she has to create sustainable supply chains having efficient suppliers with consistent steady business that secures highest quality of products and services. Her professional approach ensures that value for money is maximized and cost savings are generated.

Katerina Chrisovergis

ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Katerina joined Atlas in July 2014 as Accounting Manager. She was introduced to the shipping industry in 2000 when she moved to Greece from Canada. She held the position of D/A controller for clients like Chevron, Exmar and Tankers Int’l at Gulf Agency Company, a leading global provider of shipping & marine services. When GAC relocated its headquarters to Dubai in 2003, she worked as Chief Accountant for a shipowning company with 6 vessels. For the last five years, she worked for the Bernhard Schulte Group as Chief Accountant at Bernhard Schulte-Hellas, manager of the Hanseatic Tankers Pool with a fleet of 12 chemical tankers and at Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Greece manager of 40 vessels. She holds a BCom in Accounting from Concordia University in Montreal and has completed post graduate studies in Accountancy at McGill University.

Aris Mavris

CREW MANAGER

Capt. Aris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in September 2007. He holds a Class B’ Captain license and has obtained a Certificate in Shipping & International Trade and Sea Transport from B.C.A. College (1993) as well as holds an MBA, Master of Shipping, Trade and Transport from the University of Aegean (2002). From 1993 to 1999, he worked for Celebrity Cruises Inc., Miami, Florida. He has held several Marine positions at various shipping companies prior joining Atlas Maritime.

Penelope Kallidoni

HQE MANAGER

Penny joined Atlas in 2009 as ISM/ISO Coordinator. Prior to joining Atlas, she has served as the Operations & Commercial Assistant in a NASDAQ listed shipping company for four years. Experienced in ISO, ISM, and ISPS, MLC & TMSA audits, responsible for Collecting and analyzing HSEQ performance and reporting progress on the implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Monitors safety on a daily basis through past and projected indicators, ensuring that all regulations are being followed in the company. She holds a BSc in Sociology from Panteion University of Athens.

Chris Ioannou

TECHNICAL MANAGER

Chris joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in 2020 as Technical Manager. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Houston in Texas. Prior to joining the company he has held various senior engineering positions in the technical department of shipping companies. He was also the project & site manager of the owners’ supervision teams for numerous new-building projects in Europe & Asia including high technology, high efficiency, ECO design product & chemical tankers. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers [ASME].

Basil Dimakakos

COMMERCIAL / OPERATIONS MANAGER

Capt. Basil joined Atlas Maritime Ltd in December 2012 and on 2016 he assumed the responsibility to run Atlas’ Commercial Operations. He is the company’s primary contact, and reports directly to the CEO, for all matters related to S&P and time charter and spot fixtures, while he also monitors the daily vessels’ movement and expenditures. Prior to joining the Company, he worked in Singapore as the General Manager for a commodities trading company and before that, he worked in senior positions in Ship Management companies, mainly in the tanker and and dry cargo sectors, for 20 years. He is a qualified Captain Class A for all type of commercial vessels of unlimited size. His has sea-going experience of more than 12 years, onboard oil tankers, mainly ULCC, VLCC and Aframaxes. He holds MSc degree for Maritime Operations from John Moores University of Liverpool and MBA from Phoenix (Arizona) University

Christos Zenios

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Christos Zenios joined Atlas as the Financial Manager in 2007; he stepped up to the VP-Finance position in 2011 which he held until the end of 2013, when he was entrusted with the CFO role. Since joining Atlas, he has been responsible for modeling and analyzing financial deals for the company, mitigating financial risks, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with Credit and Investment Banks in relation to the capital structure of the company. Additionally, he oversees the Accounting team and works closely with our auditors to ensure the company meets its reporting requirements in a timely and accurate manner. Prior to joining Atlas, he worked for over 5 years in the Banking Sector, where he served as a Senior Credit Officer in the Corporate Banking & Leasing divisions of well established financial institutions in Greece (Piraeus Bank and Bank of Cyprus). He holds an M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Strathclyde (2005), and a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Wales, Cardiff (1997).

Leon Patitsas​

FOUNDER & CEO

Leon founded the company in 2004 and is the Chief Executive officer of Atlas Maritime. He has concluded over $ 1 billion in total transactions (acquisitions and sales) throughout his career. With over 20 years of experience in shipping, he has focused on buying assets at attractive entry points/distressed levels. He has a strong track record in profitably employing the assets and has secured time charter contracts (revenues) of over $500 million, with oil companies (oil majors) and traders. 

He subsequently sold the assets profitably, at the peak of the cycle and successfully produced stellar returns. Prior to founding Atlas Maritime, he gained extensive experience in sales and purchase (acquisitions), chartering, and ship financing, working for renowned Ship-owners in New York, London and Athens.

Leon began his career in New York, working for an investment bank that invested in Hedge Funds and Private Equity. Having extensive knowledge in the capital markets has enabled Atlas to successfully conclude JV’s with major Private Equity firms, in NY and London. Leon is on the board of directors of Concord Maritime, a Commercial Manager, based in Stamford, CT, operating crude tanker pools. He also serves on the Board of directors of the American Club (P&I Club) and is a Council member of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO). 

Leon was born in London and studied in the United States. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Master’s of Science and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.