By Eguono Odjegba
Damen Shipyard has concluded plans to raise commercial fishing operations in Africa as the shipyard last week announced a new vessel leasing fund for the African continent.
A statement obtained by Vanguard Maritime Reportindicated that details of the Damen Africa Ship Leasing Fund was unfolded at the Damen Fishing Seminar last weekend in Cape Town, South Africa.
Damen, an international shipyard group and major supplier of wide range of vessels to Africa, has reportedly delivered more than 1,200 vessels to customers in Africa over the past three years.
Damen Finance Manager, Francesco Verscheuren, a specialist in fishing in Africa, said, “The new fund is particularly interesting for smaller, private fishing vessels owners. We are using our years of experience to support them with their vessel financing based on leasing agreement.”
Tailored as a hire-purchase agreement and designed to meet the specific needs of prospective customers, Verschuren said that each customer will begin by chartering the vessel for a certain number of years, while at the same time repaying the loan and the applicable interest. They then have the option of outright purchase of the vessel during the tenor of the agreement and obligation, or after paying up the net cost within the agreement time frame.
Instructively, the Damen Africa Ship Leasing fund gives ship owners an option to own and operate vessels when they don’t necessarily have the means to make a large down payment on a vessel in a traditional financing arrangement with registered dealer banks, or when local financing solutions are not available.
“By making use of Africa Fund, customers can own a state-of-the-art Damen vessel in just a few years and tap into new business opportunities straightaway. Financing a new vessel from the fund has the advantage of being both very flexible and each lease agreement is custom-made to the ship owner’s requirements”, Verschuren said.
The Damen Africa Ship Leasing which was established in May 2018 is reported to have already assisted owners in Nigeria and Angola, with customer friendly incentives that involve building the vessels locally at Damen Shipyards, Cape Town or at any of its shipyards, worldwide.