In the first of a series of interviews ahead of the Saudi Maritime Congress Maria I. Angelicoussis talks about the company’s diversified strategy and opportunities in the Middle East region.
As Greece’s largest shipping company Angelicoussis Shipping Group Ltd (AGSL) operates across the gas carrier, crude tanker and dry bulk markets.
“Our strategy as a company is to be diversified in three main shipping sectors: dry bulk, crude oil and liquid natural gas. These complement each other as industrial energy carriers and give the group a natural hedge against different cycles in shipping markets,” Angelicoussis told Seatrade Maritime News.
“At the moment there is quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the global economic outlook. This is caused by the tragic war in the Ukraine, an emerging energy crisis in Europe, and China facing both Covid-related lockdowns and challenges within its property sector.”
From a shipping perspective, Angelicoussis believes the current geopolitical situation has redrawn trade routes, something she sees as an overall positive for the tanker market in the short and medium term.
“We are also broadly positive in the LNG sector as we see the growing global demand for natural gas as countries attempt to transition away from coal and to a cleaner energy source,” she said.
Maria Angelicoussis will be speaking at the Saudi Maritime Congress, taking place on September 28-29 in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, sending an important signal about the centrality of the kingdom to global energy markets.
She took over the company when her father, the late John Angelicoussis, passed away in 2021, and will attend the event as a speaker at a session on the outlook for oil and gas transportation.
“Saudi Arabia has been and will continue to be very important for the tanker market, and at Maran Tankers we have a total of 35 VLCCs and 15 Suezmax vessels, so exports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia will continue to be an essential part of our business today and in the future.”
The kingdom is not the only location where the CEO sees promising renewables developments. “We see a lot of opportunities in the Middle East region, especially for crude oil and LNG shipping, but also in the future for non-carbon fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen, as well as for the shipment of liquid CO2.”
Angelicoussis believes the Saudi Maritime Congress will be a good opportunity to reconnect with Saudi business counterparts. “ASGL has a long-standing relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through Maran Tankers, and in particular with Bahri, so when we were invited to be present at the SMC this was an excellent opportunity for our group to [attend] and meet and discuss new business opportunities with our Saudi colleagues.”
In 2017, Angelicoussis’s father appeared at a maritime forum organised by Bahri in Dubai to say that emerging markets were a key source of business for his companies.
“Markets where the population is high and where there is a very high GDP growth, for instance China and India, are markets that are immensely helping our industry. These countries need more oil and they are far away from reaching the levels we are consuming in [other regions],” he said at the event.
According to its website, AGSL today operates 140 vessels, with 15 on order. Employee headcount stands at just under 8,100, 93% at sea and 7% office-based. It operates several subsidiaries, including Maran Tankers Management, Maran Gas Maritime and Maran Dry Management. Total capacity in dry and crude is just over 23.25m dwt, while gas vessels account for storage of almost 9.5m cubic metres.
According to an analysis earlier this year, the Euronav-Frontline merger created the world’s largest VLCC fleet of 69, followed by two Chinese players, Bahri and Maran Tankers. Bahri owns 42 VLCCs, while Maran Tankers data as of July show the firm had a tanker fleet of 37 VLCCs, two Aframaxes and 14 Suezmaxes on the water, with a further four VLCCs on order, all for delivery in the first half of 2023.
Source: Seatrade Maritime