Case studies

NORD/LB finances first Container-Widening Project worldwide

Three  high-speed 4,900 TEU Panamax-Container ships were converted to a state of the art 6,300 TEU fuel-efficient wide-beam like design.

Due to weakening demand for classic Panamax vessels regarding the overall challenging market environment and in response to widening of the Panama-Canal the three vessels, all originally financed by Nord/LB, faced a poor market outlook after expiry of their initial time charters. To deal with such issue, our customer Niederelbe Schifffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG Buxtehude (NSB) developed, patented and successfully realized an innovative ship widening concept.

NORD/LB acted as sole lender and provided a financing of 50% of the total of about USD 30m conversion costs, while the other 50% were provided by the original equity investors. Through material higher HOM intake, an increased number of reefer plugs as well as a significantly improved fuel efficiency, the three vessels were able to attract long-term charters with one of world’s Top Container Liners, which in turn led to a substantial improvement of the vessels’ financial situation as well as the general future employment perspective.

NORD/LB finances luxury cruise vessel

NORD/LB is financing the construction of a new cruise vessel for the Monaco-based Silversea Group, specialised in particularly high-end,luxury cruises.


The 40,000-ton Silver Muse is being built by the largest Italian shipyard Fincantieri in Triest. The luxury cruise vessel will have 596 cabins. Completion is scheduled for early 2017.



The overall financing volume for the construction of the vessel amounts up to USD 293.5 million (around €270 million). NORD/LB is acting as Mandated Lead Arranger and Facility Agent for the syndicate consisting of four banks and is providing a share of USD 73 million. The entire loan is covered by a SACE guarantee, the Italian Export Credit Agency, which reduces the risks of the financing structure significantly.

Financing of two modern 4,800 TEU container ships

In the first quarter of 2015 NORD/LB took a further step in the rejuvenation of its container portfolio with the financing of two modern 4,800 TEU container ships.

The volume of the medium-term transaction arranged for a joint venture between the Hamburg-based shipping company Hammonia Reederei and an investor was approx. USD 45 million.


“We intend to continue our commitment towards German shipping companies and are pleased to have in Hammonia Reederei a very experienced partner by our side,” stated Tobias Zehnter, Head of the Ship Finance Department.

Compared to traditional Panamax ships, the ships built in 2014 have a wide-beam design. The ships have been designed and built to the latest energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly standards. The ecodesign container ships have a more fuel-efficient main engine as well as a much higher load capacity, and this is reflected in the higher charter rates.

“As we strive to keep our portfolio up to date, we view ecodesigns and innovative technologies positively,” explained Tobias Zehnter.

NORD/LB has been handling the full refinancing of six chemical tankers

From the start of 2015 NORD/LB has been handling the full refinancing of six chemical tankers for “Borealis Maritime Ltd.”, expanding its customer base in commercial shipping.

The transaction sees NORD/LB providing a total financing volume of USD 28.5 million. The loan includes a five-year, linear redemption profile with a final bullet payment.
The strategic conservative approach of NORD/LB is also reflected in this commitment, not least through a low lending level from the outset and the hedging of the bullet rate.

Borealis Maritime Ltd., established in London in 2010, is a global company that operates a total of 41 ships (chemical tankers, product tankers and container ships). The largest shareholder in Borealis Maritime Ltd. is the leading investment company KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts), which was set up in 1976.
With a highly qualified management with extensive experience in shipping, Borealis Maritime Ltd. is an active and well-positioned company in the sector.

This commitment sees NORD/LB securing access to an up-and-coming market participant.

NORD/LB provided the post-delivery for 3 stainless steel chemical tankers

NORD/LB provided the post-delivery for 3 stainless steel chemical tankers built in 2008/2009 at the Japanese shipyard Kitanihon. All 3 vessels are chartered out long term to reputable charterers.

SIVA Shipping is the shipping arm of the SIVA Group (headquartered in Chennai, India), which is an international conglomerate with diverse business interest in areas such as Telecom, Energy, Real Estate, Agriculture, Shipping and Food & Beverage. SIVA Global Ships is one of the 2 subsidiaries of SIVA Shipping.

NORD/LB provided the post-delivery financing for three LPG carriers

NORD/LB provided the post-delivery financing for three LPG carriers (two 5,000 cbm and one 3,500 cbm) which were delivered in 2014/2015 from the Japanese shipyards Kitanihon and Sasaki Zosen.

Epic Gas Ltd., formed in December 2012, owns and operates a fleet of 33 modern and high quality fully pressurised gas carriers providing seaborne services for the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and petrochemicals. Their vessels serve as a crucial link in the international gas supply chains of leading oil majors and commodity trading houses throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, West Africa and the Americas.

NORD/LB finances offshore wind farm installation vessel

NORD/LB is participating in the financing of an installation vessel for offshore wind energy farms. Commissioned by the international provider of construction-related services HOCHTIEF, the "VIDAR" is a jack-up vessel being built at the Crist shipyard in Poland and scheduled to go into service from 2013 onwards.

NORD/LB has co-structured the transaction within the framework of a club deal in which it is acting as paying agent. The bank is providing one third of the external financing volume in a transaction which serves to further expand NORD/LB's activities in the sphere of renewable energies, having already been involved in the financing of the "Global Tech I" North Sea wind farm in 2011.

"This project demonstrates the smooth intermeshing of NORD/LB's competencies in the financing of energy projects and special-purpose ships," commented  Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB managing board. "We have long years of experience in both sectors, so we are pleased to have been able to support this project with our know-how. We intend further expanding our involvement in this segment."

This transaction was awarded by the magazine Marine Money Offshore in May 2013 with the "2012 Deal of the Year Award" in the category "Leasing Deal of the Year".

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