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Photo: Color Line

Norwegian Shipyard Ulstein supplies the world's largest plug-in hybrid ferry to Color Line

GIEK has participated in the financing of “Color Hybrid”, the celebrated Ship of the Year at the NorShipping exhibition in June. The ship will be delivered from Ulstein Shipyard in July. 70 per cent of the ship's value consists of deliveries from specialised sub-suppliers in the Norwegian maritime cluster.

On July 26, the maiden voyage for "M/S Color Hybrid" will go from Sandefjord, Norway to Strømstad, Sweden. The ferry is a plug-in hybrid ferry, where the batteries are charged via a power cable with environmentally friendly power from its own power supply system or via the ship's generators. The ship is considerably larger than the vessels that now serve the route and will be replacing both of them. Color Hybrid is 160 meters long, with a capacity of 2,000 passengers and 430-500 cars.

Transfer of expertise from the offshore to cruise industries

Color Line first considered shipyards in Asia, then in Europe, before finally deciding on Ulstein Shipyard. The assignment came during a period of industrial reorientation following the downturn in offshore supply. The project is a good example of putting existing skills to new use within the Norwegian ship building industry.

Ulstein is one of several Norwegian shipyards and suppliers to the shipping industry that have adapted to the cruise industry. High-tech expertise and years of experience from the rigorous requirements of the offshore oil and gas industry, have given Norwegian shipyards an advantage in the competition for contracts from the cruise lines.

Also read: Norwegian cruise ship delivered to France-based Ponant

Several Norwegian-built cruise ships financed by the Norwegian Government

Backed by the Norwegian state's AAA credit rating, Norwegian shipyards can offer foreign customers attractive financing solutions. Ulstein is one of several Norwegian shipyards that build advanced passenger ships, and GIEK has participated in the financing of a majority of those vessels.

The financing of "Color Hybrid" is based on funding from state-owned Export Credit Norway, guaranteed by GIEK and a commercial bank.

GIEK offers guarantees for the entire maritime value chain

In addition to long-term buyer credits to shipowning companies, Norwegian SME suppliers to yards may also obtain government-backed guarantees to finance their own expansion.

Also read: Loan guarantee for export-related investments in Norway.