Photo: Finnlines

Finnlines secures loan for hybrid RoRo newbuilds

Finnish ferry operator Finnlines, part of the Italian Grimaldi Group, has secured a loan of EUR 30 million (about $35 million) to finance the acquisition of its three new hybrid cargo vessels.

The loan was agreed with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

Back in 2018, Finnlines ordered the environmentally roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel trio in China. The construction of the first unit started in June 2020 and the second in September.

The three RoRos are part of Finnlines’ ongoing €500 million newbuilding programme which also includes two eco-friendly Superstar roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ships.

The new RoRos will be equipped with high-powered battery banks and photovoltaics, which will allow the ships to use electricity and operate emission-free while docked. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered during 2021–2022 and will operate on routes between Finland and Europe.

As explained, the new vessels are larger than the ones Finnlines currently has in use, and will increase the company’s transport capacity substantially. The design of the vessels’ hull, the propeller-rudder system and the air lubrication under the keel will reduce friction and hydrodynamic resistance, and thus significantly reduce the environmental impact.

“Freight transport services play an important part in Finland’s logistics chain. Commercial shipping still causes significant air emissions, so we are supporting investments that contribute to cleaning and increasing the efficiency of the sector,” Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO, said.

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