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Bank deal opens maritime green door

LUXEMBOURG: April 22, 2017. The European Union's non-profit European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €150 million loan agreement with Dutch bank ABN Amro to reduce the carbon footprint of marine vessels through the use of clean fuel technology.

The deal is underwritten by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a central pillar of the Juncker Commission's 'Investment Plan for Europe', that has already approved €183 billion for potential project financing in support of over 425,000 SMEs across 28 Member States.

umingThe new guarantee agreement ensures that sustainable projects in maritime transport can benefit from the EIB's AAA rating for both retrofitting existing shipping as well as newbuilds, and applies to both inland and ocean operators said the EIB.

"The Bank received a clear signal from the market that there was a financing gap for the greening of shipping fleets," said EIB vice-president Pim van Ballekom. "By allowing the EIB to take more risk, the Investment Plan for Europe enabled us to create a new instrument

"This is the second agreement under a €750 million EFSI green shipping program 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," he continued.

Daphne de Kluis, Commercial Clients CEO for ABN AMRO added: "We are very happy we can support the Juncker plan through this initiative. The EIB facility is an extra stimulus for ABN AMRO shipping clients to look for sustainable solutions. It fits perfectly with our other efforts to promote sustainable solutions in this important sector."

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Financing the transition to more sustainable transport systems and networks requires a commitment to invest. Today's agreement demonstrates that the Investment Plan can play an important role in mobilizing private finance to support this transition."

Owned by the Member States, last year the EIB provided €12.5 billion in long-term finance for EU transport projects.

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