EuropeFinance and Insurance

Dutch government backs Groningen shipowners with €250m fund

A heartland for Dutch shipowning is set to be revitalised with a €250m injection of funds into the NesecShipping Debt Fund.

Institutional investors and the Province of Groningen will offer financing for Dutch shipowners through the fund, supplemental to existing credit capacity from banks, targeting owners who are planning to acquire (or re-build) short-sea vessels.

The fund is partly backed by a guarantee from the Dutch state and was inaugurated yesterday by Mona Keijzer, the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Secretary of State Keijzer, said: “The Netherlands has been a nation of seafarers for centuries. The maritime sector continues to be one of the jewels in the crown of the Dutch economy, generating added value of 26 billion euros and jobs for 275,000 people. Shipbuilding and shipping deliver innovations and export opportunities. The current government is therefore pleased to support Dutch expertise in this sector by issuing guarantees for this fund.”

“Shipping companies in Groningen own 75% of the 400 ships in the Northern Netherlands. So Groningen is a genuine short-sea province,” added Henk Staghouwer, a member of the Groningen provincial executive.

“No fewer than 112 short-sea vessels were launched from northern shipyards between 2012 and 2017. We are happy to provide the forty shipping companies active in this field with access to financing for the construction of new, innovative vessels. With a turnover of 1.3 billion euros and 4,300 employees in some 100 companies, shipbuilding is vital to the economy and jobs in the north of the Netherlands as a whole and in Groningen in particular,” Staghouwer said.

The Nesec Shipping Debt Fund will focus specifically on acquisition of new or existing ships, or modifications to them, to comply with new requirements for ballast water, sulphur and other emissions.

Nesec expects to develop several funds in the future that will focus on, among other things, maritime and offshore assets, and renewable energy.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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