U.K. shipbuilder Diverse Marine has introduced its own finance and lease program designed initially for the financed construction of offshore wind crew transfer vessels (CTV).
Funding for offshore wind CTVs has been challenging, and the company said it has observed over the last 24 months pressures felt by clients and vessel owners trying to justify builds in the U.K., with conventional vessel procurement methods uncompetitive against yards in Europe, Scandinavia and the Far East who can offer procurement terms without the need for stage payments through the construction phase.
Under its new Diverse Marine Client Finance Program, the shipyard funds the construction of the vessels giving the owner/operator the ability to “collect” the vessel on completion through term finance or long term lease options.
Financing for an initial, but rolling, eight vessels has been allocated, with the first vessels already in build for delivery in 2024.
Ben Colman, director of Diverse Marine, said, “The introduction of this in-house program is the result of over 12 months of discussions with funders after listening to the needs of our clients. For U.K. yards to remain globally competitive, the need to talk monthly lease figures or monthly repayment figures has become more critical than capital purchase costs. The scheme is unique in how it is set up and unique in terms of the finance solution that we can offer our clients”.
Peter Curtis, an independent marine finance consultant, has been instrumental in setting up the new program for Diverse Marine and continues to play a vital role in the day to day running and liaison with clients as customer finance director.
“The financing of CTVs with Diverse Marine fulfils decades of ambition with U.K. operators and U.K. shipyards and to finally be able to launch this program is very exciting for the industry,” Curtis said.