Eurazeo backs Samskip’s hydrogen-powered newbuilds with €22.5 million investment

Dutch logistics company Samskip Group has secured financing for its zero-emission short-sea container vessel through a strategic partnership with Eurazeo and Ness, Risan & Partners (NRP).

Image by Naval Dynamics

The €22.5 million funding, part of the Eurazeo Sustainable Maritime Infrastructure (ESMI) fund, marks the fifth transaction for the initiative.

The vessel, also known as the Samskip SeaShuttle, is currently under construction at Cochin shipyard in India, and is expected to be delivered to Samskip in the second half of 2025. Once delivered, this vessel will be one of the world’s first and largest vessels to be propelled with a hydrogen propulsion system.

The Samskip SeaShuttle will be fueled by green hydrogen in the ports of Oslo and Rotterdam, gradually integrated in the vessel’s energy mix from 2026 onwards to allow it to be totally carbon neutral from 2030. This will make it one of the world’s greenest vessels ever built, meeting all ESMI’s criteria and exceeding the fund’s targets in terms of GHG emission reduction objectives and credit risk profile as well.

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“Being able to support an established player like Samskip, with a focus on European intra-trade and logistics activities, constitutes a landmark transaction for our ESMI fund. It is a great opportunity to be a part of such a sustainable vessel project that is expected to be carbon neutral by 2030, hence contributing to the industry’s target to be net zero GHG emissions by 2050,” Sylvain Makaya, Partner – Asset-based, and Guillaume Branco, Investment Director – Asset-based, said.

“With this landmark transaction, we are reaching our objective to invest close to 50% of our first ESMI fund by 2023. We expect the ramp-up phase to continue during 2024 with the objective to prepare the second generation of this fund.”

The strategic partners on the ESMI fund included Elbe Financial Solutions who acted as financial & maritime advisor, origination advisor NRP, Simonsen Vogt Wiig as legal advisor, and technical & ESG advisor Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore.

“The need to accelerate sustainability is paramount in today’s rapidly changing world. Waiting is simply not an option. At Samskip, we feel an ethical responsibility to pioneer for sustainable solutions. Building energy-efficient vessels that use significantly less energy is critical to our future, as there is not enough energy in the world to produce renewable fuel for everything we produce,” Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, Group CEO Samskip, said.

“Therefore, it is truly great that we receive the support of Eurazeo in financing the first Samskip SeaShuttle. We believe we will only be successful when we truly collaborate. The support of Eurazeo is a great example of the kind of collaboration that is needed to make an effective energy transition.”

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Samskip ordered two 135-meter ships earlier this year. The duo will be powered by a 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cell each, with diesel generators installed for backup. They will also have an onboard hydrogen fuel storage facility and be fitted with azimuth thrusters for propulsion and high maneuverability.

The vessels, capable of carrying around 365 45-feet long high cube containers, are intended to serve the European market where sustainable transportation solutions are in high demand.

Samskip, which aims to achieve net zero by 2040, anticipates that each vessel will be able to avoid around 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year when powered by fuel cells and by using green shore power at the port of call.