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FMO and ABN AMRO signed an agreement today to support the transshipment of bulk cargo in Guinea, supporting economic development through exports.
FMO NL Business, together with ABN AMRO, has jointly provided USD 15 million to SMT Guinea Transhipment Company Ltd. in support of their transshipment services in Guinea.
SMT Shipping is a Dutch shipping group and worldwide leader in providing full service logistics solutions in bulk and break-bulk maritime transport. For over 25 years, SMT has provided reliable handling of many types of bulk cargo offering multi-layered solutions and has expertise in both shore-based and vessel transport operations.
The transaction fits within the mandate of FMO’s NL Business to support Dutch companies in their business expansion into emerging markets. A total of three SMT owned and operated vessels are collectively employed to transship a minimum of 5.5 million tonnes of bulk cargo per annum for a contract period of 10 years.
FMO has taken the lead in the evaluation of the Environmental and Social aspects related to the project in Guinea, where ABN AMRO has provided their in-depth knowledge in shipping finance.
SMT Shipping has initiated a scholarship to provide opportunities for employment especially to young men and women residing in the areas around the project area. Every year, SMT will select 2 to 4 young men/women from localities and sponsor their professional training program at one of West Africa’s leading Maritime Academy’s, the ARSTM in Ivory Coast.
“FMO is happy to team up with ABN AMRO in financing these transshipment vessels and contribute to the further economic development of Guinea” said Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, “Combining the specific knowledge of FMO on the environmental and social aspects of the transaction with the in-depth knowledge in shipping finance of ABN AMRO allows us to support shipping companies in complying with high sustainability standards.”
“We are proud to have our long-term banking partner ABN AMRO assist us in this financing and to have found a new partner in FMO” said Marcel Heijnsbroek, CFO of SMT Shipping, “We look forward to successfully developing this project further for the benefit of stakeholders and the local economy of the Republic of Guinea over the coming years.”
As an Industrial Shipping Group, active worldwide, SMT has achieved a next step in the growth of its Transhipment Activities with the commencement of the Transhipment Project in Guinea, in August last year. For the transportation of bulk cargo from shore to off-loading into much larger Ocean Going Vessels, SMT has developed three specifically designed vessels: two low draught shuttle vessels of 10.000 dwt and one 55.000 dwt transhipment vessel equipped with a 70T in-house developed crane. This project builds on SMT’s successful transhipment business in such countries as Ghana, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay.
The positive collaboration between all parties, including legal counsel Loyens & Loeff, in establishing this 5-year financing has been instrumental in achieving this ground-breaking initiative for the maritime industry.