Dutch shipowners will now be able to benefit from a newly-inaugurated EUR 250 million (USD 275.5 million) fund, the NesecShipping Debt Fund.
The fund provides mortgage-backed loans for short-sea vessels, and it is partly backed by the Dutch state.
It has attracted interest from institutional investors such as the Nederlandse Waterschapsbank, the Province of Groningen and clients of both NN Investment Partners (NNIP) and Waterland Investment Services.
As informed, the NSDF is now fully funded and open for credit applications from shipowners.
“NSDF’s lending is supplemental to existing credit capacity from banks,” explains Pieter van der Burg, managing director of Nesec, a Dutch financing institution supporting shipping and shipbuilding.
“The introduction of a range of measures has steadily reduced lending activities of banks towards shipowners.”
Nesec expects to develop several funds in the future that will focus on, among other things, maritime and offshore assets, and renewable energy.
“The maritime sector continues to be one of the jewels in the crown of the Dutch economy, generating added value of 26 billion euros and jobs for 275,000 people. Shipbuilding and shipping deliver innovations and export opportunities. The current government is therefore pleased to support Dutch expertise in this sector by issuing guarantees for this fund,” Mona Keijzer, the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, said.
Henk Staghouwer, a member of the Groningen provincial executive, said that some 112 short-sea vessels were launched from northern shipyards between 2012 and 2017.
“We are happy to provide the forty shipping companies active in this field with access to financing for the construction of new, innovative vessels. With a turnover of 1.3 billion euros and 4,300 employees in some 100 companies, shipbuilding is vital to the economy and jobs in the north of the Netherlands as a whole and in Groningen in particular,” he added.
Pieter van der Burg of Nesec welcomed the fund as an additional source of financing for shipowners, especially since banks have reduced their long-term ship financing since 2012.
“Aging vessels and new emission regulations mean the fleet requires renewal. The Nesec Shipping Debt Fund focuses specifically on the acquisition of new or existing ships, or modifications to them. For example to comply with new requirements for ballast water, sulphur and other emissions,” he concluded.