For shipowners looking for finance to cover the cost of their ballast water management system (BWMS) investment, a good starting point could be to ask the BWMS supplier. BWTT asked a number of leading BWMS makers whether they can arrange finance and a good proportion of them can.
Joe Thomas, managing director of Wärtsilä Water Systems, said it can “introduce customers to independent third party financing, which include funding plans covering part or all of the costs associated with equipment purchase, installation and through-life spares and service support.”
Alfa Laval offers a similar service. Its vice president Anders Lindmark, who is head of its PureBallast activities, acknowledged that project finance is “one of the challenges in the BWMS retrofit market” so it has developed “a financing solution for the purchase of the PureBallast system.”
In some countries, state support is available. In Norway, for example, funding is available from the government’s Eksportkreditt scheme, said Optimarin’s chief executive Tore Andersen. That gives access to loans for periods of up to 18 years on competitive terms to finance purchases from Norwegian companies.
A similar scheme is available in the UK and Andrew Marshall, chief executive of Coldharbour Marine, said that the company has been working closely with UK Export Finance, “particularly for multi-million [pound] fleet installation contracts.” The UK Government’s website sets out the scheme’s goal as “to ensure no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance.”
Rasmus Folsø, chief executive of Desmi Ocean Guard, spoke of “very attractive financing possibilities” through Denmark’s Export Credit Foundation. “We can provide up to five-years financing at 5 per cent interest,” he said.
At least one company – Sunrui – is considering offering finance arrangements, although details are yet to be finalised. Its goal will be that the arrangement will “achieve a win-win solution for both parties,” the company said in a statement.
Ian Stentiford, global vice president of Evoqua Water Technologies, pointed out that it is part of a much larger organisation that offers financing schemes in other areas of its business, so “we would be prepared to embark on a leasing proposition with our customers.” However, in practice, he said, no customer has yet said they cannot afford the equipment and asked for a leasing programme. “If they did, we would entertain it,” he said.