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Baleària signs the first sustainable financing agreement in Spanish shipping sector with CaixaBank

Publish date: 30 March 2022

CaixaBank acted as financing coordinator, insurer and sustainability agent leading the syndicated loan amounting to €80 million. The price of financing will be calculated using two environmental indicators. Shipping company Baleària acts as a global benchmark in sustainability as a result of its trailblazing commitment to projects related to gas and renewable energy.

The shipping company Baleària has signed the first sustainable financing agreement in Spanish shipping sector with a sustainable loan of 80 million euros. The funding was calculated using the interest rate based on two environmental indicators: the number of eco-sustainable vessels and the number of vessels with electrical connections when docked, used by the company.

CaixaBank has led the syndicated loan, acting as financing coordinator, insurer and sustainability agent. Abanca, Banca March, BBVA, Cajamar and Santander have also participated in the funding.

Gas, hydrogen and electric battery powered ships are considered eco-sustainable, as they produce lower emissions than conventional or clean fuels. Baleària seeks to lead the transformation of Spain's shipping sector by reducing pollution through the use of  cleaner energies. For this purpose, it has 9 dual-engine boats that use gas and it aims to expand this eco-efficient fleet by at least three more units over the next 5 years.

To reduce emissions both on journeys and in ports, Baleària has begun to invest in providing vessels with an electrical connection to the port when they are docked to enable them to remain operational without using fuel. In 2021, Baleària added Eleanor Roosevelt, the world's first fast ferry with dual gas engines, to its fleet, which also has an electrical connection to the port. This enabled it to make the first carbon-free journey of any ship in Europe, in its first month of operation, using biomethane. The shipping company aims to have nearly 15% of its fleet utilising these electrical connections by 2026.

The funding came with a report by Anthesis Lavola, which has validated the materiality and suitability of the indicators and their goals, thus meeting the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles issued by the Loan Market Association. Additionally, KPMG Abogados has been involved in the operation as legal advisor to the syndicate of funders.