The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €124m loan to Norwegian ferry operator Fjord Line to support the expansion of its fleet and boost the development of sustainable sea transport between Norway and Denmark.
The investment follows the company’s receipt of two new LNG cruise ferries, MS Stavangerfjord and MS Bergensfjord, in 2013 and earlier this year respectively.
EIB Norway lending vice-president Mihai Tanasescu said that the new LNG vessels have improved the overall environmental performance of the company’s fleet.
"As they have also increased the capacity deployed on the routes between Norway and Denmark, this investment will contribute to the EU policy of promoting short sea shipping; a transport mode which is highly efficient, not only in terms of environmental performance, but also as regards energy efficiency," Tanasescu said.
Fjord Line board chairman Peter Frølich said: "The loan has been secured by a guarantee from the Kingdom of Norway, through the state support credit agency GIEK."
Built at the Bergen Group Fosen shipyard in Norway, each ferry is installed with four gas engines to power a Promas rudder and propeller propulsion system to help reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by about 90% and lower sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate emissions to negligible levels.
Each of the 4,000dwt, 170m-long vessels have 306 cabins and are capable of carrying up to 1,500 passengers as well as 600 cars, trucks and cargo.
MS Stavangerfjord entered service in May 2013 and the second ferry, MS Bergensfjord, joined operations earlier this year.
Image: Fjord Line’s second LNG cruise ferry, MS Bergensfjord. Photo: courtesy of Fjord Line.