The European Investment Bank and Dutch bank ABN Amro signed an agreement on 21st April, to support investments for greening the European shipping fleet. This framework is the first with a financial institution in the Netherlands and is supported by the “Connecting Europe Facility” and was made possible by the ”EFSI” (European Fund for Strategic Investments), central pillar of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.
The framework guarantee agreement will ensure that promoters of sustainable projects in the maritime transport sector can benefit from favourable financial terms as a result of the EIB’s AAA rating. The facility is open for both retrofitting of existing shipping as well as for projects that envisage the construction of new vessels with a green innovation aspect, it applies to both inland shipping and seagoing operators.
“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 to support shipping companies in complying with the European sustainability standards. This is the second agreement under a EUR 750 million EFSI Green Shipping Guarantee Programme, 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.”
Daphne de Kluis, CEO Commercial Clients 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 to stimulate our 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 mobilising private finance to support this transition.”
This sector risk bearing programme is meant for projects that will improve the environmental performance of transport vessels in terms of diminishing the emission of pollutants as well as increasing fuel efficiency. Projects should be proposed to the ABN Amro Bank and will be subject to their eligibility and risk acceptance criteria.