Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group revealed plans to launch a specialised financial services division, starting from 1 April 2021.
The unit will support clients in the financing of new ships by means of both operational and financial lease constructions.
For decades, the shipbuilding group has been assisting its clients in attracting financing for new ships.
“However, the demand for lease solutions is increasing,” Jan Willem van Helden, managing director of Damen Financial Services, explained.
“By making it a separate entity within the group, we can work with external investors, banks and specialists to optimise our offering on both a large and a smaller scale, with ships and services as one package.”
According to Damen, the advantage for shipowners is that they can treat their capital investment as operational costs (OPEX). For Damen, the extra service means that a broader package, including maintenance, is offered, so that, for example, better management can be done towards a more sustainable use of the ships.
“Ship-as-a-service and circularity in shipbuilding come a step closer. Moreover, the new service means that, from a governance perspective, we have a better overview of how the financing works,” van Helden continued.
The working method of the new division opens the way to new business models for Damen Shipyards Group.
“In the past, we would first sell a ship and then support our customer with the financing structure,” the managing director further explained.
“In the new set-up, the operating structure and financial framework are created first, after which customers are approached to purchase ships. This generally includes a long term, low-risk element such as a concession or charter contract.”
Damen expects to announce the first projects of the new division shortly.
Damen Shipyards Group offers maritime solutions worldwide, through design, shipbuilding, ship repair and related services. The company operates 36 shipyards in 18 countries.