The European Investment Bank (EIB) provides a loan of EUR 124 million to Fjord Line

Photo: Anette Karlsen / NTB Scanpix

The European Investment Bank (EIB) provides a loan of EUR 124 million to Fjord Line for their fleet expansion with two new LNG cruise ferries which now sails between Bergen, Stavanger, Langesund (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark). MS "Stavangerfjord" and MS "Bergen Fjord" were provided by Bergen Group, respectively in July 2013 and March 2014. 

Wikborg Rein's Peter Frølich and Karina Fossmark assisted Fjord Line in negotiating a favorable refinancing of parts of the long-term financing of Fjord Line's two new cruise ferries. We have assisted Fjord Line in negotiations with GIEK as guarantors - nominal value EUR 124 million - to EIB.

Thanks to Fjordline's investment, supported by the bank of the European Union and GIEK, each of the new ships are daily offering transport for up to 1,500 passengers and 600 vehicles. The cruise ferries have been built according to the highest international and European environmental standards and are equipped with LNG powered engines. The use of this technology eliminates emissions harmful to the environment. The reduction of CO2 emissions could reach as high as 23 percent compared with the use of common marine engines using heavy fuel oil. The first of Fjord Line's two new cruise ferries; MS "Stavangerfjord" has been honored with "The Shippax Award" for the best ship design in 2013. Fjord Line also received an award for having introduced the largest cruise ferry operated exclusively on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Fjord Line won the "The Energy Efficiency Award" at Nor-Shipping 2013.

On Tuesday the 8th of July there was an official signing ceremony in Wikborg Rein's offices in Oslo where, among others, the Vice President of EIB, Mihai Tănăsescu, was present along with a delegation from the bank. Also director at GIEK, Øyvind Ajer, and Office Manager Rolf Tjugum were present with a delegation from GIEK. State Secretary for Climate and Environmental Affairs, Lars Andreas Lunde, was also present at the ceremony.

Fjord Line is the first Norwegian maritime transport company that has signed a loan agreement with the EIB. The loan offers Fjord Line long-term financial resources at a lower cost, thereby contributing to economic value creation for Fjord Line. The loan is secured by the Norwegian Government through guarantees from GIEK and has shown flexibility and innovation by emphasizing the importance of Norwegian companies benefiting from the favorable loan terms EIB offers. The loan to Fjord Line represents the first guarantee scheme entered into between GIEK and EIB, and could pave the way for other similar financings within the EIB's framework.