Banks finance Poland’s shipbuilding industry

A consortium of banks has signed with Remontowa Shiprepair Yard S.A. an agreement for guarantees and letters of credit aimed at supporting the shipyard’s key project in the coming years, related to the construction of Ro-Pax type ferries. These will be among the most environmentally friendly car-passenger ferries powered by liquefied natural gas in a hybrid system to sail on the Baltic Sea.

The line granted by the consortium amounts to EUR 81 million. Santander Bank Polska, mBank, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and KUKE are involved in the project. The role of financing agent is performed by Santander Bank Polska, the collateral agent is mBank. Each of the banks will provide bank guarantees, letters of credit and letters of guarantee in connection with supplies to the shipyard. The banks will additionally benefit from counter-guarantees provided by KUKE.

– The provision by a consortium of banks of the limit for guarantees and letters of credit necessary to service contracts with suppliers and subcontractors is another key step in the implementation of the contract for the construction of Ro-Pax ferries. The project is on schedule, which means that the first unit is due to be handed over to the shipowner in 2025. We are very pleased that banks have taken the initiative to cooperate and, together with KUKE, have worked out such an advanced financing structure which meets our expectations – comments Michał Makowski, Finance Director of Remontowa Shiprepair Yard S.A. 

Ro-Pax is a ferry which will be able to carry 400 people. The ferry will be low-emission, measuring 195.6m long and 32.2m wide each. The length of the loading line is 4.1 thousand metres and the maximum speed will be 19 knots.

– The solution proposed by the consortium is an example of an innovative approach to the issue of large customer needs in terms of limits for guarantees and letters of credit. Until now, as an independent bank, we have often cooperated with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation, but the individual exporter projects were of a smaller scale. In this case, due to the size of the project, together with mBank and BGK we built a consortium that would best address the needs and expectations of the shipyard. What makes this transaction special is the investment in the emission reduction technology used on the ferry – comments Grzegorz Pojnar, ECA Export Finance Director at Santander Bank Polska.

– We are pleased with our participation in financing low-emission vessels, which are more economical for the shipowner and at the same time more environmentally friendly. Running this type of project is part of our strategy, in which the ESG agenda, including environmental responsibility, is an important element,” says Tomasz Niewola, head of the Structured Finance and Mezzanine Department at mBank.

The ferries will operate on the line between Świnoujście and Ystad, supporting the development of maritime transport and the Polish shipbuilding industry.

– The Polish shipbuilding industry is an important element of the national economy. We also note an increase in international passenger transport by sea – in 2021 there were 21 percent more passengers than in 2020. The construction of Ro-Pax in the Remontowa Gdansk Shipyard is one of the largest such undertakings in the Polish shipyard over the last 30 years, which will contribute to the further development of this branch of the economy. The investment also further pursues the objectives of sustainable socio-economic development. The new ferries built at the Polish shipyard will be low-emission, powered by four LNG engines with battery assistance – says Iwona Kasperowicz, Director of the Pomeranian Region of BGK.

The Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdansk is the largest company within the Polish shipbuilding group Remontowa Holding. It has vast experience in designing, building, converting and equipping low-emission vessels of various types, with gas and electric propulsions. Since 2009, the Group has delivered to shipowners from Norway, Denmark, Canada and Sweden a total of 19 new vessels fuelled by LNG for main propulsion, including 15 ferries.


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