Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced the conclusion of a Transition linked loan, relying on a transition finance framework and the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles, to finance one of the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessels, named ‘Gas Vitality‘. The bunkering vessel is owned by MOL’s wholly owned subsidiary Emerald Blue Maritime.
The loan is provided by Societe Generale (acting as Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner, Co-Sustainability Coordinator, Agent, Security Agent and Lender) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (acting as Lead Arranger, Co-Sustainability Coordinator and Lender).
The transition finance framework aims at promoting MOL’s climate transition set forth in the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1” (Note 1).
The loan has been structured in line with a transition finance framework and a Sustainability-Linked instrument that has an acquired third-party certification (Note 2) by DNV Business Assurance Japan for compliance with all four criteria below.
- International Capital Market Association (ICMA):
Climate Transition Finance Handbook
- Financial Services Agency, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of the Environment in Japan:
Basic Guidelines on Climate Transition Finance
- Loan Market Association (LMA):
Sustainability Linked Loan Principles
- Ministry of the Environment in Japan:
Sustainability Linked Loan Guidelines
The vessel ‘Gas Vitality‘ is the sister ship to the ‘Gas Agility‘, which was delivered in April 2020. The ‘Gas Vitality‘ was delivered at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China on October 31,2021 and chartered to TotalEnergies Marine Fuels. (Note 3) As a cutting-edge LNG bunkering vessel equipped with the most advanced technology and environmental performance features, it plays an important role in promoting the spread of LNG-fueled vessels in the future.
In June of this year, the MOL Group established “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1” as a guide to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and support a sustainable society. Since then, the group has moved forward with various initiatives. One specific effort is to encourage the wider adoption of LNG as marine fuel by promoting the development of LNG fuel supply systems in Japan and around the world. It plans to launch about 90 LNG-fueled vessels by 2030 as a strategy to introduce clean alternative fuels (Fig. 1). The group continually works as a team to address customers and social needs to reduce environmental impact, contributing to the realization of a decarbonized society in the future.
[Outline of the vessel]
Ship name/Delivery date: ‘Gas Vitality‘ (October 31, 2021)
Shipyard: Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China
Ship registry/Class: France/Bureau Veritas (BV) (French shipping classification society)
Deadweight tonnage: 8,780DWT
Cargo tank capacity: 18.600m3
Cargo tank system: Membrane GTT Mark III Flex