Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has secured a transition loan for its two LNG-fuelled ferries – Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki
While MOL did not disclose the specific loan amount or the repayment period, the company said the Development Bank of Japan and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank served as the arrangers for the loan with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation serving as co-arranger.
MOL added, “On top of the three banks, this transition loan was jointly provided by 10 local financial institutions located mainly in western Japan, near the routes on which the two ferries will be launched, and close to the shipyards where they will be built.”
The lenders are Yamaguchi Bank, Higo Bank, Oita Bank, Kitakyushu Bank, Yokohama Bank, San-in Godo Bank, Hiroshima Bank, Iyo Bank, Ehime Bank and Kyoto Bank.
Japan has its own guidelines for financing deals whose proceeds are used to promote the energy transition and MOL said the deal was selected as the “first transition loan in Japan for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s climate transition model projects”.
Eligibility for the loan received third-party evaluation by the Japan Credit Rating Agency, as the loan conforms to the Climate Transition Finance handbook published by the International Capital Market Association and the green loan principles developed by experienced working groups such as its Green Bond Principles.
The 200 m-long vessels will be capable of carrying more than 700 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 cars at a speed of 22.5 knots and are scheduled to commence operations on the Osaka–Beppu route for MOL Group company Ferry Sunflower Limited.
The ships will be built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan, featuring Wärtsilä’s LNG propulsion system and will be the first LNG-fuelled ferries built in Japan.
Sunflower Kurenai is scheduled for delivery in December 2022 with Sunflower Murasaki following in March 2023.
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