Greeks seeking new ships

WA’S aluminium fast ferry industry is a source of fascination for Greek shipping companies, says Greek consul Theodore Tsakiris.

Mr Tsakiris said he received a lot of interest from Greek shipping companies wanting to build fast ferries similar to those produced by Austal Ships and WaveMaster International.

Greece boasts the world’s largest merchant marine fleet by ship ownership and according to Lloyds Register, Greek-owned ships carry 18 per cent of world tonnage and make up 50 per cent of the European Union fleet.

“Much of the Greek fleet is aging and the companies are looking to modernise,” Mr Tsakiris said.

He said Greek shipyards had concentrated on steel ships but now there was interest in aluminium technology.

Mr Tsakiris said there were opportunities for WA firms to use Greece as a springboard into Europe, the Black Sea and the Middle East.

“Greece has influence and long standing relationships with these nations,” Mr Tsakiris said. “Greece is also a member of the European Union.

“And Australia can be used as a springboard into the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean Rim regions.”

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