Dutch banking group ING and the European Investment Bank said they will provide a EUR 110 million ($123 million) loan to Dutch ship management firm Spliethoff’s Bevrachtingskantoor B.V. for retrofitting vessels with exhaust gas cleaning systems.
According to a European Commission press release, Spliethoff will use the loan to retrofit 42 of its vessels with exhaust gas cleaning systems and ballast water management systems.
The loan is part of the ING and EIB EUR300mln Green Shipping partnership signed in 2018, to support sponsors of green and sustainable projects in the maritime transport sector with advantageous financial terms.
The loan will allow Spliethoff to have 17 vessels retrofitted with both exhaust gas cleaning systems and ballast water management systems, 5 vessels retrofitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems and 20 vessels equipped with ballast water management systems.
"This will enable Spliethoff to be compliant with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and EU regulations governing air emissions and prevention of the release of seaborne pathogens that are harmful to the marine environment," said the release.
The retrofitted vessels will operate with significantly reduced emissions of sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) pollutants and prevent the sea borne transfer of invasive species and diseases in ballast water.
The EIB loan will be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, as well as the “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF).
Michel Fransen, CFO of the Spliethoff Group said: "We have been installing scrubbers on our fleet since 2013 and are very happy with the results so far. Scrubbers are a very environmentally friendly solution to comply with the 2020 regulations. LNG or hydrogen may have the potential to become even better alternatives in the future, but only in the longer term. The investment in scrubbers also safeguards the interest of our shareholders against uncertainties in fuel availability and pricing."
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