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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
26/11/18 10:21

Paolo d’Amico: “Two separate associations undermine the whole sector”

The shipowner reports about his Group’s come back into Confitarma, about DIS’ and Intertanko’s new commitment and about the still ailing liquid market

According to Paolo d’Amico “talks on key subjects is always open”, nevertheless there's no room  available in Itay for more than one Association. This way we are just undermining the whole category”.

Rome-native shipowner, number one at d’Amico group together with his cousin Cesare and recently appointed – unprecedented Italian – President of Intertanko International Association, talks about their latest return to Confitarma and about his new office as CEO at d’Amico International Shipping (DIS), subsidiary group listed at Piazza Affari operating in liquid bulks, which has been suffering low freight rates and the weak market which negatively affected revenues”.

A very tough time which might be close to a turnaround trend, although d'Amico's motto is caution”.

Regarding the Association: you re-joined Confitarma a year after your departure. Which are the reasons for your decision?

“Our return to Confitarma is a sort of return home. Three presidents of the association belonged to our family, however, in that specific instance we made the right decision.

The new presidency is featuring a new era, that's why we determined joining the association again.

We confide finding a skilled and independent professional to at the helm”.

Can a dialogue with AssArmatori be developed? Regarding the renewal of the National labour contract (negotiated by both Associations; Ed) or even regarding other subjects?

“We are focusing on Confitarma, however we are ready to talk about major subjects regarding the shipowning business”.

Do you confide outgoing member will return to the Association?

Based on my experience as President of Confitarma there is no room for various associations.

We are exclusively undermining the whole category and that's a pity, considering we might reach excellent results”.

You are the first Italian President heading Intertanko: which are the major issues for tankers' shipowners globally?

“We are undergoing very tough time: the so much coveted recovery still hasn't come and the whole segment is under pressure.

Meanwhile the new restrictions and duties on international trade have further affected the global scenario. The new IMO 2020 regulation on ships' sulphur emissions is just around the corner and the shipowning system is getting ready to be compliant. Nobody knows which and where the new fuel will be available. On the one hand there might be some confusion but on the other hand some operators might seize interesting opportunities, while an increase in refining businesses and increased shipments are envisaged”.

Which are the key elements you'll be focusing on during your term in office?

“My major target will be representing the shipowning sector, I belong to, in the best possible way, many things have changed due to technological innovations and increased environmental impact responsibility. I wish to represent the Associations 200 members asking them not to give up quality, standard compliance and environmental protection”.

The high pressure you've been undergoing have also affected d’Amico International Shipping, of which you have been recently appointed Managing Director: which are your strategies?

“Before being appointed CEO, I've always been committed to implementing DIS strategies.

We built a tough governance system recruiting highly skilled professionals”.

Ships tankers market is currently ailing and the results recorded in 1Q 2018 show substantial losses. When do you think the situation will change?

”All major players listed on the Stock Market recorded substantial losses, however few signs of recovery might imply a turnaround trend, for example crude oil freights recovery which historically come before petroleum products freights' increase”.

Disregarding current weak freights, are there any measures which might improve performance?

”Our market is strictly linked to freight rates, to available fleet, operating capacity and global commitment. We definitely hold a young fleet encompassing eco-ships and we can operate globally. We also invested in a 750 million dollars plan which consented us purchasing new ships at a lower price than current market prices”.

Based on your analyses will the new sulphur cap, to be enforced in 2020, increase tankers demand and how?

“The new sulphur cap will have positive impact on product tanker transport: the lack of product will spur the refining level and fuel bunkering stations will be established in major ports.

Our eco-ship will consent cutting consumptions and our customers will have lower consumptions and higher operational performance”.

Regarding the renewal of your fleet, how many ships do you still have to receive, will you ask postponed deliveries for some of them?

“We'll be delivered the last two newbuilding, built at Hyundai Vinashin yard in 1Q 2019  and there's no reason to postpone scheduled deadline”.

Francesco Bottino

TAG : Tanker