– Loans and guarantees from Export Credit Norway and GIEK have been crucial in obtaining quick and solid financing for the project,” says Ole Henning Christiansen, the CEO of Safelink AS.

In 2015 the company, based in Skien, Norway, used export financing in connection with the sale of three heave compensators to US-based Safelink Rentals LLC, which it co-owns, for leasing to oil service companies Technip and Subsea 7. The compensators are being used at large subsea installations off the west coast of Africa.

Safelink availed itself of GIEK and Export Credit Norway’s joint application for loans and guarantees on contracts under NOK 50 million.

– We are very happy with the procedure involved in getting the financing in place,” says Christiansen. We have had joint meetings with GIEK and Export Credit Norway, and the dialogue between the two has been seamless. Financing and building our products without export financing would have taken far longer.

– Our ambition, he adds, – is to develop the technology further and grow so that Safelink eventually becomes a natural and integral part of the offshore industry’s advanced crane systems. Technip and Subsea 7 are among the biggest players in the sector, and we now have both on our customer list. These contracts have been very important for us, in order to demonstrate the technology and take a larger share of the market.

Safelink’s heave compensators are attached between the crane and the equipment to be lowered to the ocean floor, and compensate for wave effects and the physical forces acting at the sea surface and below it. The compensators used by Technip have a net weight of about 30 tonnes and can handle 300 tonnes of lift.

GIEK has issued a buyer credit guarantee for two loans to Safelink Rentals LLC in the United States totalling EUR 3.36 million. GIEK’s guarantee covers 90 per cent of the loans granted by Export Credit Norway, while supplier credits from the exporter make up the remaining 10 per cent. In joint financing arrangements for contracts under NOK 50 million, the requirement of participation by a commercial bank may be waived. Georg Kervel, GIEK senior customer relations officer, Energy and Industry