Norwegian funding sources have extended more than US$180M in financing and subsidies to US-listed Teekay Offshore Partners for a series of four shuttle tankers under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in South Korea.
Through its funding apparatuses – the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency and Eksportkreditt Norge – the Norwegian Government provided guaranteed loans of US$165.5M.
Additional subsidies totalling Nkr133M (US$15.28M) came from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment funding vehicle Enova, which contributes to Norway’s transition towards a low-emission society.
Teekay Offshore Group chief executive Ingvild Saether claimed the newbuild vessels would be “the most environmentally friendly shuttle tankers ever built”.
“What makes me particularly proud is that bunkering requirements and CO2 emissions will be reduced by approximately 50%, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of our operations significantly,” he said.
The new ‘E-Shuttle’ tankers will operate on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the primary fuel, and a mixture of LNG and recovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as secondary fuel.
Technology on board the ships removes up to 100% of VOC emissions, according to manufacturer-supplier Wärtsilä. The VOC recovery system converts VOC emissions into liquid gas, feeding the gas into a secondary fuel tank on board the vessels, reducing annual fuel bunkering by up to 3,000 tonnes, according to the manufacturer.
Financing options for environmental technologies in shipping have expanded in recent years to fill what the European Investment Bank called a ‘financing gap’ – financial challenges faced by owners wishing to adopt the technologies.
Eksportkreditt Norge began to offer financing to international vessel owners who purchase equipment from Norwegian suppliers in 2017.
“Money is tight and access to reasonably-priced capital is a challenge for many players in the international shipping and maritime industries at the moment,” Eksportkreditt Norge’s director of lending Olav Einar Rygg said at the time.
Scheduled for delivery from SHI in 2019 and 2020, the new vessels will use equipment from other Norwegian suppliers such as Brunvoll, MacGregor Pusnes, Kongsberg, Jotun, Glamox and others, making them eligible for Norwegian export credit funding.