EFIC provided an export finance guarantee to Austal's bank to guarantee repayment
Australian company Austal Limited, a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance aluminium vessels, has won an A$74.7 million contract to provide four high-speed passenger catamaran ferries to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Key to Austal’s success in the international tender was the support of Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), Australia’s export credit agency, in helping to structure a finance package for the buyer.
The buyer of the ferries in the Caribbean is a government entity, Trinidad and Tobago’s National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO). Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Austal’s Australian bank for the transaction, has provided a loan facility to NIDCO to fund the purchase of the ferries. EFIC has provided ANZ with an export finance guarantee (EFG) for A$61.3 million to guarantee repayment of the loan.
EFIC’s EFG facility is a form of buyer finance: it is a guarantee from EFIC to a bank to encourage the bank to lend to overseas buyers of Australian exports. An Australian exporter’s ability to enhance a contract bid with buyer finance from EFIC can make them more competitive in global markets.
Austal’s Managing Director, Bob Browning, said, “Given the size of the order, being able to offer NIDCO a finance package which included EFIC’s guarantee was a crucial part of our bid.”
The high-speed ferries will be used to establish a water taxi service between San Fernando, in south-western Trinidad, and the capital, Port of Spain, and are intended to reduce travel time between north and south Trinidad by almost two-thirds. Each 41 metre vessel is designed to carry 405 passengers.
EFIC is a long-term supporter of Austal and has assisted it with another contract in Trinidad and Tobago and contracts in Greece and Turkey.
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