Japanese owner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has secured its first green loan from BNP Paribas and the Export-Import Bank of China to partially finance the construction of a 18,600cbm LNG bunkering vessel, which is expected to be the largest LNG bunkering vessel in the world.
MOL ordered the vessel at CSSC’s Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding in 2018 and the vessel will be chartered to French energy giant Total.
“LNG bunkering vessels have a key role to play in meeting the shipping industry’s growing appetite to use LNG as a cleaner fuel alternative. With the IMO2020 SOx regulation and the upcoming IMO2050 framework on GHG and CO2 emissions, BNP Paribas is pleased to have acted as mandated lead arranger and sole green structuring advisor to help MOL in financing one of the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessels,” said Matthew Forrest, head of shipping, Southeast Asia, BNP Paribas.
“This is clearly a milestone transaction as it is the first green loan worldwide financing this vessel category. As a leader in both shipping finance and sustainable finance, BNP Paribas is driving green initiatives for clients globally as the shipping industry goes through a period of rapid transformation to drastically cut its carbon output and improve its sustainability performance,” Forrest added.
The MOL Group believes the green loan is in line with its Environmental Vision 2030 and it also views responses to stricter environmental regulations and activities to reduce its environmental impact as opportunities to create new businesses, diversify its business portfolio and address new challenges in technical innovation.