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Norwegians to finance vessel retrofits

Following the IMO ratifications of the ballast water and exhaust gas treaties, government-owned Export Credit Norway is now offering financing to international vessel owners who purchase retrofit equipment from Norwegian suppliers.

The Norwegian export credit agency Export Credit Norway has assembled a specialised team and tailor-made financing solution to support vessel owners who need to retrofit equipment such as gas exhaust cleaning systems, ballast water treatment systems and new coating systems.

Analyses show that as many as 60,000 vessels worldwide will need to retrofit scrubber systems by 2020 and ballast water treatment systems by 2021.

“Money is tight and access to reasonably priced capital is a challenge for many players in the international shipping and maritime industries at the moment. Hence, attractive financing of retrofit equipment could make the investment less demanding for many vessel owners,” said Olav Einar Rygg, Export Credit Norway’s director of lending, Ocean Industries.

Export Credit Norway can finance up to 85% of the contract value for retrofit equipment that international vessel owners acquire from Norwegian companies. Norwegian content must account for a minimum of 30% of the amount of the Norwegian supplier contracts.

“The Norwegian shipping and maritime industry has a number of world leading technology suppliers within ballast water treatment systems and other required retrofit systems. What we provide is attractive financing for vessel owners who are interested in purchasing this technology,” said Rygg.

The maturity of the retrofit loans will be between 5 and 8.5 years per single loans, depending on the economic life, amount and type of investment. Fixed interest loans are offered through so-called CIRR loans (commercial interest reference rate), which are set by the OECD once a month.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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