New Norwegian ship financing scheme launched

Norway’s new ship financing scheme was officially approved by the King in Council on Friday 22 June, and is ready for launch. Shipping companies will now have access to several billion kroner in state financing support for ship purchases.

“This is a relevant, targeted measure that will increase activity at Norwegian shipyards and preserve expertise and jobs in Norway. The scheme promises to boost value creation in Norway, support restructuring and improve the sustainability of the welfare state,” says Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen expects the ship financing scheme to boost value creation in Norway. Photo: Helge Skodvin.

The new scheme is unique in that it allows Export Credit Norway to finance ships intended for use in Norwegian waters, including fishing boats, ferries, express boats and wellboats.

The received applications clearly illustrate that the scheme is a welcome addition to Export Credit Norway’s product range.

Otto Søberg, Export Credit Norway

Export Credit Norway CEO Otto Søberg is pleased to have a further tool in his toolbox:

“We have extensive experience of assisting Norwegian shipyards and shipping companies. I am pleased that we can now provide additional financing and expertise through the new scheme, which will make a real difference to both shipping companies and, not least, Norwegian shipyards and their sub-contractors,” says Søberg.

Strong interest

Export Credit Norway makes loans guaranteed by GIEK and/or highly rated banks. The Storting (the Norwegian parliament) has approved an initial guarantee limit of NOK 10 billion for GIEK. Export Credit Norway has registered strong interest from Norwegian shipping companies since the launch of the scheme in the fiscal budget.

“The application inflow shows that this scheme is highly welcome. We have already received 19 applications with a gross value of more than NOK 6 billion. Although I obviously cannot pre-empt the assessment process, I can say that the applications include many interesting projects,” says Søberg.

The maritime sector has successfully weathered some rough conditions, and although prospects are now positive the Government considers it important to introduce the new scheme to raise activity levels and ensure that Norwegian shipyards win more contracts.

Otto Søberg expects the new scheme to boost ship construction in Norway.

Value creation and technology development

Export Credit Norway has broad ship financing experience, and Søberg is in no doubt that the new scheme will have positive effects on Norway’s maritime industries.

“The scheme will bolster demand and ensure that more ships are built in Norway instead of at foreign yards. This will not only increase domestic value creation and employment, but will also provide further stimulus for technology development,” says Otto Søberg.

By way of example, he points to contracts for the construction of electric ferries, which have previously gone to foreign companies. Such assignments can now be performed in Norway.

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Published 28. Jun 2018