The European Investment Bank (EIB) has entered an agreement with Dutch bank ABN Amro to invest €150m to support the development of a sustainable shipping fleet in Europe.
The newly signed deal is the first agreement of its kind between the EIB and a Dutch financial institution, and is supported by the European Commission’s ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ initiative.
It is also part of the EIB's wider European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and is intended to ensure financial benefits to promoters of sustainable maritime transport projects in the Netherlands under EIB's AAA rating.
Financial benefits will be provided to both retrofitting of existing shipping, as well as developments that involve the construction of vessels featuring environmentally friendly technology. It will also be applied to both inland shipping and seagoing operators.
European Investment Bank vice-president Pim Ballekom said: “The Bank received a clear signal from the market that there was a financing gap for the greening of shipping fleets.
“By allowing the EIB to take more risk, the Investment Plan for Europe enabled us to create a new instrument to support shipping companies in complying with the European sustainability standards.
"This is the second agreement under a €750m EFSI Green Shipping Guarantee Programme, which was set up after numerous discussions with Dutch counterparts from the public and private sector.
“We are really looking to ship owners to make use of it so that we can implement it in other countries as well.”
Projects that seek to benefit from the new arrangement are required to offer a proposal to the ABN Amro bank, and will be subject to various eligibility and risk acceptance criteria.