The European Investment Bank (EIB), French shipping company Brittany Ferries and the Societe Generale bank have finalised a financing agreement for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ferry, which is planned to be owned by Brittany Ferries.
The deal represents the first green maritime financing grant to be provided under EIB’s €750m Green Shipping Guarantee (GSG) programme that was previously launched last year by the EIB and Societe Generale.
It also follows a €150m guarantee framework agreement signed by EIB and Societe Generale last year as part of an investment plan for Europe known as the Juncker Plan, as well as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to support shipbuilding.
The latest agreement also aims to help modernise the existing vessels for sustainable transport operations and protect the environment in accordance with the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) guidelines.
EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle said: “By structuring riskier financing in a new sector, the bank of the European Union strongly reaffirms its commitment to sustainable, responsible and sustainable growth on an international level.
“Our goal is to support the efforts of French shipowners to develop a more environmentally friendly maritime transport thanks to an adapted and attractive financing tool.
“The environmental performance of the ‘Motorways of the Sea’ is at the heart of our climate action in accordance with the commitments made at COP21 and the priorities of the French Government’s Major Investment Plan.”
Societe Generale acted as the main arranger of the €142.6m funding for the acquisition of the Brittany Ferries vessel, which will be known as Honfleur.
The financing package also includes a tranche of €49.5m that will be fully guaranteed by the EIB.
Honfleur is anticipated to enter service in April 2019 on the Caen-Ouistreham (France) and Portsmouth (UK) route.