Mona Keijzer, the dutch state secretary for economic affairs and climate policy, has inaugurated the Nesec Shipping Debt Fund.
Institutional investors and the Province of Groningen offer through the fund financing for Dutch shipowners who are planning to acquire (or re-build) short-sea vessels. The fund is partly backed by a guarantee from the Dutch state. “NSDF’s lending is supplemental to existing credit capacity from banks” explained Pieter van der Burg, managing director of Nesec. ‘The introduction of a range of measures has steadily reduced lending activities of banks towards shipowners.”
Secretary of state Keijzer said:: “The Netherlands has been a nation of seafarers for centuries. 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.”
“Shipping companies in Groningen own 75 per cent of the 400 ships in the Northern Netherlands. So Groningen is a genuine short-sea province”, added Henk Staghouwer, a member of the Groningen provincial executive. ‘No fewer than 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.’
Pieter van der Burg of Nesec said: “Due to Basel IV capital measures being implemented fully in 2022, banks reduce their long-term ship financing. Ageing vessels and new emission regulations mean the fleet requires renewal. The Nesec Shipping Debt Fund focuses specifically on acquisition of new or existing ships, or modifications to them. For example to comply with new requirements for ballast water, sulphur and other emissions.”
The fund provides mortgage-backed loans for short-sea vessels. With the involvement of the Dutch State, the Nederlandse Waterschapsbank, the Province of Groningen and clients of both NN Investment Partners (NNIP) and Waterland Investment Services were willing to invest in NSDF. The cooperation of these parties means that the NSDF is now fully funded and open for credit applications from shipowners.
Nesec expects to develop several funds in the future that will focus on, among other things, maritime and offshore assets, and renewable energy.