Laila Johnsen is Senior Vice President of Export Credit Norway, a lender owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry. At BWMTech London, we spoke with her about the challenges involved with securing financing for ballast water management systems, and the growing importance of sustainability to creditors’ decision making.
“Creditors today take environmental and social governance as a soft issue in their decision making, and I think they will put much more attention on the environmental risk in the future to come.”
What are the obstacles shipowners meet when securing finance for ballast water management systems?
“I think the primary challenge for financing ballast water treatment systems is that there is a lack of available security for the loan. And also one factor is that shipping banks have reduced their exposure to the shipping industry, so it’s not easy to get a loan.”
How does Export Credit Norway aid shipowners to overcome these challenges?
“What we can do or how we can contribute is that we can provide a loan to finance ballast water investment. At Export Credit Norway we promote Norwegian exporters – so that will be insofar as the shipowner buys the ballast water treatment system from any of the Norwegian suppliers.”
Will sustainability and green benefits become a larger deciding factor when it comes to creditors’ decision making?
“Indeed. And I think it will become more and more focused on the environment. When you look at creditors, today they take environmental and social governance as a soft issue in their decision making, and I think they will put much more attention on the environmental risk in the future to come.”
“That said, I think it’s simple to keep in mind that shipping is still the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient mode of transportation compared to aviation, rail and road transport. I think we all need to care for the ocean – after all it’s the largest ecosystem on earth, which we heavily depend on. So all stakeholders I think will push the industry to become more environmentally friendly.”
Catch up on the latest developments in ballast water management at BWMTech North America.