Le Commandant Charcot is the latest of 35 ships to be built with the help of Eksfin loan financing
Norwegian export credit agency Elsfin has provided loan guarantees of almost NOK 10 billion ($1.15 billion) for the construction of 35 eco-friendly vessels over the past four years.
“Our job at Eksfin is to promote Norwegian exports globally and boost the financial capacity of Norwegian industry,” said Tone Lunde Bakker, CEO of Eksfin. “In the shipping space we are helping shipowners, shipyards and equipment sub-suppliers to finance an increasing number of vessels featuring alternative fuels or new technologies that reduce harmful emissions. We are now close to the milestone figure of NOK 10 billion and will continue to pursue projects with a strong environmental profile reflecting the industry trend towards more sustainable operations.”
The most recent ship to receive loan financing from the agency was Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot, which was constructed by Norwegian shipbuilder VARD. Ponant contributed the majority of the contract position from its own resources, with Eksfin providing the outstanding monies in cooperation with French banks. The Eksfin loan amounted to €162 million, with risk guarantees totalling €183 million.
“Ponant aims at proposing purposeful and sustainable luxury experience onboard small ships,” said Alexis Blavette, CEO of Ponant. “Le Commandant Charcot is the latest and the most iconic member of our fleet with an ultra-luxurious vessel sailing in never-yet-cruised destinations with unique environmental features. Eksfin’s efficient assistance together with our lenders helped to make this extraordinary ship a reality.”
Le Commandant Charcot features a hybrid power plant powered by LNG fuel and electric batteries and is equipped to sort and treat all waste produced onboard. Ponant estimates that using LNG will reduce emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide by 95 per cent, 85 per cent and 25 per cent respectively compared to conventional cruise ships. The ship’s electrical solution also features battery technology from Norway’s Corvus Energy.
“The delivery of Le Commandant Charcot and its superior environmental credentials reinforces Norway’s position as a leading producer of high-value, high-end vessels and technology,” said Bakker. “It is a great example of how we can work together with exporters and financial institutions to facilitate winning bids.”
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