KfW Ipex-Bank finances new RoRo ferries for the Faroe Islands

The German state-owned KfW Ipex-Bank is supporting the fleet renewal program of the Faroese shipping company Smyril Line with financing amounting to €90 million.

Smyril Line, based in the Faroe Islands, operates a year-round service between Denmark and the Faroe Islands, Iceland and the Netherlands[ds_preview].

It was recently announced that not only older charter tonnage (built by the Hamburg-based Sietas shipyard) but also newbuildings are being used to expand the fleet. Two new ships were ordered in China for the first time.

Germany’s largest ship financier, KfW Ipex-Bank, is now also participating in their realization.

“The funds will be used to rejuvenate the fleet by building two identical 190 m long RoRo ferries, each with 3,300 loading meters and space for around 220 trailers and 300 cars,” according to a press release. The ships also each have 100 connections for refrigerated containers for transporting fish. They are being built at the Chinese CIMC Raffles shipyard and are scheduled for delivery in 2026.

The ship was designed by Danish engineering firm Knud E. Hansen. It includes shore power connections and battery packs to enable it to dock in port with zero emissions and low noise levels. The RoRo ferries are being prepared for operation with e-methanol with an “Alternative Fuel Ready” notation. Compared to the existing ships, emissions should be reduced by at least 60%. A new chemical-free unloading system is also intended to increase safety when transporting electric cars.

KfW Ipex-Bank and Smyril deepen long-standing relationship

“We are very pleased to be able to deepen our long-standing customer relationship with Smyril Line, whose commitment to environmentally friendly and sustainable ferry transport we are happy to support,” said Andreas Ufer, Member of the Management Board of KfW Ipex-Bank.

KfW Ipex-Bank is responsible for export and project financing within KfW Bankengruppe. By structuring medium and long-term financing for German and European exports, infrastructure investments, and securing raw materials and environmental and climate protection projects worldwide, it aims to support domestic companies in key industrial sectors on global markets.

“With this financing, we are once again underlining our commitment to supporting our customers in the transformation to climate-friendly and CO2-efficient shipping,” added Ufer.

The ferry company Smyril Line has been operating a regular, year-round freight and passenger service between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland since 1982. Smyril is the Faroese name for Merlin the griffin, the only bird of prey native to the Faroe Islands, which is also depicted on the smokestack logo. The 165.7-metre “Norröna”, which was built in 2003 at the Flender shipyard in Lübeck and was last extensively refurbished and modernized in winter 2020/21, is used for passenger transport on the approximately 900-nm route from Hirtshals in Denmark via Thorshavn to Iceland. Five ro-ro cargo ships also serve freight traffic from Rotterdam to the Faroe Islands, among others, with the two 102-metre-long “Hvítanes” and the “Eystnes” being 44 and 43 years old, respectively and presumably the first to be replaced by the newbuilds.

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Copyright: Knud E. Hansen

Caption: © Knud E. Hansen