Spain’s Balearia signs green loan as it eyes fleet expansion

Balearia, the owner of nine LNG-powered ferries, has signed what it says is the first sustainable financing agreement in Spanish shipping sector, as the firm looks to further increase its fleet.

Spain’s CaixaBank has acted as financing coordinator, insurer and sustainability agent leading the syndicated loan amounting to 80 million euros ($88.6 million), according to a joint statement on Tuesday.

The funding was calculated using the interest rate based on two environmental indicators: the number of eco-sustainable vessels and the number of vessels with electrical connections when docked, used by the company, the statement said.

Adolfo Utor’s Balearia recently welcomed the converted LNG-powered ferry, Hedy Lamarr, in its fleet following the completion of conversion works at Portugal’s West Sea yard.

With this, Baleria has completed a program consisting of nine LNG-powered vessels with a total investment of 380 million euros ($421.6 million).

Balearia now has six converted LNG ferries and three LNG-powered newbuilds in its fleet.

New vessels

The shipping firm is also in talks with Armon Gijon to order a new LNG-powered fast ferry, following the delivery of its Eleanor Roosevelt in April last year.

Baleria is considering the construction of a second, improved version of the fast ferry, sources told LNG Prime last month.

According to the statement on Tuesday, the firm aims to expand this “eco-efficient fleet by at least three more units over the next 5 years.”

To reduce emissions both on journeys and in ports, Balearia has also begun to invest in providing vessels with an electrical connection to the port to enable them to remain operational without using fuel.

This is also the case with Eleanor Roosevelt that has an electrical connection to the port.

The shipping company aims to have nearly 15 percent of its fleet utilizing these electrical connections by 2026, the statement said.

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