Finnvera to contribute more than EUR 2.5 billion to cruise ship financing – the order by Royal Caribbean Cruises is the largest financing project in Finnvera’s history
In October, Finnvera participated in the financing of two cruise ships ordered by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. by providing the shipping company with buyer credit financing and an export credit guarantee, amounting to more than EUR 2.5 billion. This buyer financing is related to the letters of intent published by the shipping company and Meyer Turku Ltd in 2016. As export trade transactions, the ship orders to be executed are remarkably large and will have positive cascade effects on employment and subcontracting for several years.
Mainly due to increasing demand for ship financing, the ceilings of Finnvera’s export credits and export credit guarantees were raised at the beginning of 2017.
“From the perspective of export prospects and the impact on employment, it is great that the order book extends a long way into the future. This enables many sea cluster companies to make investments and plan their operations over the long term. As an export credit agency, Finnvera plays a major role in financing projects when payment periods are long. Financing again involved cooperation between export credit agencies, this time with Euler Hermes of Germany,” says Jussi Haarasilta, Executive Vice President.
Finnvera provided the bank that arranged the transaction with guarantees for a 12-year buyer credit that was financed by Finnvera’s subsidiary Finnish Export Credit Ltd.
The shipyard will hand the ICON 1 and 2 ships over to the customer in 2022 and 2024. The ships will be record-breaking in many respects: energy efficiency, low amount of emissions and environmental friendliness. ICON 1 and 2 will use LNG, or liquefied natural gas, as their main fuel. The plan is that part of the energy consumed by the ships will be generated with fuel cells.
The largest ship financing project in Finnvera’s history
During the year, the decision to raise the ceilings of Finnvera’s export credits and export credit guarantees has proved to be well-founded. In January–June, Finnvera offered export credit guarantees and special guarantees amounting to EUR 6.3 billion, which is over five times more than during the corresponding period the year before. The amount of export credits increased significantly, too: in January–June, the export credits offered by Finnvera totalled EUR 5.7 billion (0.5 billion).
The current financing of more than EUR 2.5 billion is the largest ship financing transaction that Finnvera has ever been involved in and, at the same time, the largest individual financing project in Finnvera’s history. Such projects are not only major financing and export projects but also significant for promoting employment.
“Securing large individual export trade transactions for Finland may result in hundreds or even thousands of person-years in the exporting company and its subcontracting network. According to reports, the Finnish sea cluster encompasses 3,000 companies. The construction of two large cruise ships will bring up to 25,000 person-years of employment so the impact is truly significant,” notes Haarasilta.
Jussi Haarasilta, Executive Vice President, Finnvera, +358 29 460 2601
Read also: An extensive network enables shipbuilding