Backed by financing from Export Credit Norway, New Zealand-based shipping company Sealord chose to build a new cutting-edge factory trawler in Norway. The deal holds promise as a model for future transactions.
“This is our first agreement with a client based in New Zealand, and we have already noted knock-on effects in terms of enquiries about further deals. Sealord is the second-largest shipping company on the island, and also has an Australian operation. We hope that increased awareness of our favourable financing products will enable Norwegian shipyards and suppliers to win further contracts in future,” says Kaare Haahjem, Export Credit Norway’s representative for fisheries and fish farming.
He believes that the contract may also encourage other companies in the region to look to Norway.
“Oceania is a market with great potential for Norwegian exporters, particularly in the maritime and fisheries sectors. Thanks to their extensive experience and expertise, Norwegian operators are excellent partners for companies in these segments,” says Haahjem.
The Sealord delivery comprised an ultra-modern factory trawler with a harvesting and processing capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes a year. The ship, which has been named the “Tokatu”, was designed by Skipsteknisk in Ålesund and constructed by Simek in Flekkefjord. The transaction was facilitated by financing from Export Credit Norway.
“Following delivery of the vessel, Simek unfortunately suffered empty order books and had to petition for bankruptcy. Nonetheless, all those involved can be proud of a high-quality delivery and, not least, a major contribution to opening doors for new contracts that may benefit other Norwegian shipyards,” says Haahjem.
The Tokatu will be based in Nelson, New Zealand. It measures more than 80 metres in length, and is equipped with cutting-edge automated plate freezer and palletising systems. A fish-meal plant has also been installed, turning the trawler into a zero-emissions vessel. While the crew totals 50 persons, the shipping company has stated that the ship will support a total of 80 jobs.
The shipping company has stated on its website that the Tokatu will be New Zealand’s first new deepwater fishing vessel in 20 years. CEO Steve Yung is proud of the company’s new acquisition:
“This will be the business’ most advanced, efficient, versatile and sustainable vessel yet. It will be able to fish all Sealord’s target species, including pelagic fish such as barracouta, squid and jack mackerel – something we’ve previously only been able to do through chartering vessels.”
According to Sealord, the contract sum totals NZD 70 million, and construction has taken around two years. Export Credit Norway has provided loan financing for the ship, while GIEK has issued a full guarantee for the loan.