Fish-farm finance available, GIEK deals show

Aslak Berge

Norwegian export-guarantee provider, GIEK — which helps Norwegian ship designs get built — says it’s stepping up ship finance for aquaculture new-builds

“It’s my favourite subject — How can we help Norwegian industry abroad,” Wenche Nistad, GIEK’s managing director, told delegates at the North Atlantic Seafood Conference in Bergen on Tuesday.

Although 80 percent of the state-owned agency’s engagements are related to offshore oil and gas, the loan-guarantee business has a growing portfolio in aquaculture. It’s biggest deal is financing Solvtrans’s wellboat, Ronja Diamond, a transaction worth EUR 34.2 million.

In syndicate
With with a consortium comprising Norwegian banks DNB, Nordea, Sparbanken Vest and SpareBank 1 and SR Bank getting onboard, GIEK was able to guarantee a loan from Eksportkreditt, the Norwegian Export Credit Agency.

“We have provided financing for three wellboats. This shows that we’re willing to operate in syndicate with other banks,” Nistad said.

Solvtrans has put the Ronia Diamond — christened during the Cycling World Cup in Bergen this September — to work for clients in Chile.

Reducing risk
GIEK specializes in reducing risk for investments abroad by Norwegian companies. Loan guarantees are an important tool.

Another example of GIEK finance was recently seen in growth market, Iceland, where the purchase by grower Laxar Fiskeldi of Norwegian workboats and net-washing technology has been linked to a tranche of lending worth EUR 8.4 million. In this case GIEK and DNB guaranteed a load secured by Eksportkreditt, where DNB acted as agent.

The agreement laid the groundwork for contracts with yard group VARD Group and equipment makers Aqualine and AKVA Group.


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