Photo: Image credit: Fratelli Cosulich LNG

Fratelli Cosulich secures financing for its LNG bunkering newbuild

Italian maritime transportation group Fratelli Cosulich has won a €29.5m loan from a consortium of lenders to finance 70% of the construction costs for a new LNG bunkering vessel currently being built by Chinese shipyard Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering Co.

The lenders include Crédit Agricole Italia S.p.A (agent bank), UniCredit S.p.A., Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Banco BPM S.p.A backed by Italian ECA SACE.

The order was placed back in May 2021 marking the company’s foray into the LNG bunkering business.

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The 5,300-ton vessel, with a carrying capacity of 8,200mc+ of LNG and 500mc of marine gasoil, will be equipped with electric propulsion systems as well as dual technology power generators and a cargo management system designed and built by Wartsila Gas System. In addition to a conventional a boil-off gas combustion unit (“GCU”) management system, the vessel will also include an LNG ‘sub-cooling’ plant which will wholly eliminate the environmental impact of the GCU.

The company has also benefitted from an EU subsidy under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, for which CDP acted as Italian implementing partner. The total value of the investment is approximately $45 million.

Delivery of the LNG bunkering vessel is expected in the summer of 2023.

Earlier this year, Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore, part of Fratelli Cosulich, and Chinese shipyard Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the construction of an ammonia bunker tanker.

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Ammonia has great potential as a zero-carbon marine fuel and the Italian company has voiced its readiness to work together with the other sector stakeholders to overcome any safety and operational challenges, as ammonia is rather toxic.

For example, Fratelli Cosulich is also involved in some industry studies, like the ammonia bunker safety study led by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD).