Financing for Aker BioMarine’s krill ship

18 January 2019 – Export Credit Norway has disbursed a loan to Kjell Inge Røkke-controlled Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS (Aker BioMarine) to fund the purchase of a fishing vessel designed for krill-harvesting operations in the Southern Ocean.

The cutting-edge Arctic Endurance, which has been built at the Vard Brattvaag shipyard in Haram Municipality, Møre og Romsdal County, will be christened in Ålesund today.

The ship is the first to benefit from Export Credit Norway’s new   for Norwegian purchasers of ships constructed at Norwegian shipyards and destined for use in international trade. Adjustment of the export financing scheme to permit such transactions was announced by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Haram Conference in February 2017.

Promoting Norwegian exports

Export Credit Norway is a state-owned limited liability company which provides Norwegian and foreign companies with loan financing for purchases of goods and services from Norwegian exporters.

“Our job is to help Norwegian exporters to succeed internationally. VARD is to be congratulated on winning this prestigious assignment. I hope that our competitive financing offer played a role in Aker BioMarine’s selection of a Norwegian shipyard. We are very pleased to be financing a krill-harvesting vessel through the new scheme,” says Export Credit Norway CEO Otto Søberg.

Export Credit Norway’s loan to Aker BioMarine totals USD 113 million, and has a maturity of 12 years. The guarantors are GIEK (60%) and DNB Bank ASA (40%).

More than 40 Norwegian sub-contractors were involved in the construction work, which took two years. Over 900 persons have worked hard to ready the vessel for the 2019 season.

“I am impressed by this magnificent ship which VARD and numerous sub-contractors in the western Norway maritime cluster have built,” says Søberg.

Vard

Illustration: Vard / Aker BioMarine

Specially designed for krill harvesting

Antarctic Endurance, Vard Brattvaag’s 883rd build , measures 129.6 metres in length and has a breadth of 23 metres. It is the world’s first dedicated krill-harvesting vessel, and was jointly designed by Aker BioMarine and Vard Design in Ålesund. The contract price of the ship is USD 141 million.

“We have had to draw on all of our experience and knowledge to achieve our ambitious aims and meet the operational needs arising on this type of vessel. This is a unique ship in every way, and the first in the world to be designed specifically for krill-harvesting operations,” says Aker BioMarine CEO Matts Johansen.

After delivery, Antarctic Endurance will relocate to the Southern Ocean, where it will harvest krill for large parts of the year. In addition to krill harvesting and production, sale and marketing of krill-based products, Aker BioMarine also conducts research into new product applications and harvesting methods.

Aker BioMarine is one of two companies in Norway licensed by the Norwegian authorities to harvest krill. It cooperates with environmental organisations and has invested substantial resources to ensure that its operations are sustainable.

Five nations currently harvest krill, an activity that is strictly regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The commission was established to manage marine resources in the Southern Ocean.

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Published 21. Jan 2019