French multinational bank Societe Generale has become the first financial institution to join SEA\LNG, a multi-sector coalition that aims to accelerate the adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.
SEA/LNG envisions the creation of a competitive global LNG value chain to ensure cleaner maritime shipping by 2020. The group’s other members include classification societies, such as Bureau Veritas, Lloyd’s Register, and DNV GL, as well as maritime technology corporations and energy firms.
“As the 0.5% global sulphur cap from January 2020 edges ever closer, the case for LNG as a marine fuel continues to gather momentum,” says Peter Keller, SEA\LNG chairman. “Innovative financing is a core component to breaking down barriers to adoption and Societe Generale is at the forefront of developing frameworks to support this evolution.”
The bank recently served as the sole mandated lead arranger, lease investor, facility and security agent, hedge provider, and lender in the €142.6 million lease financing of the Honfleur ferry. The new vessel — which will make daily crossings on the English Channel from 2019 — will be the first LNG-powered vessel operated by France’s Brittany Ferries.
“In line with our wider environmental commitment to promoting greener solutions, Societe Generale recognizes the benefits of LNG in lowering local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, when compared with traditional marine fuels,” says Paul Taylor, global head of shipping finance, Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking.
“Societe Generale wants to play a key role in supporting the SEA\LNG coalition to realise its goal of making LNG a viable maritime fuel for 2020 and beyond.”