Since launching its renewables focused business in 2012, Orkney-based marine operator Green Marine has been experiencing significant demand for its services and wanted to use specialist finance solutions to boost its growth potential.
“We’ve got a long history of working in the marine sector. Before specialising in offshore wind and tidal energy we ran a fleet of fishing vessels around the world,” explained Jason Schofield, Managing Director at Green Marine. “But with the changing tides we saw a chance to support greener business and have dedicated our efforts to sharing skills and expertise in offshore renewables.”
Not only has global interest in green energy sources increased massively over the last decade – with initiatives like ScotWind stimulating wind farm development in the region – many businesses are keen to reduce their carbon footprint across the supply chain by working with local companies. These drivers have contributed to a rapid growth opportunity for Green Marine, one that the business expects to continue in the coming years.
In order to seize the opening and build on its excellent momentum, the company wanted to find the ideal financing partner to match its growth ambitions. So began its meticulous search for the most suitable financier.
“We’d been building a portfolio of options and talking to our current financiers about various options when the Marine Finance team at Siemens Financial Services (SFS) got in touch with us directly,” Mr Schofield said. “We quickly developed a relationship with the team, and they were able to offer us a finance package that far outpaced the other funders we were considering.”
Drawing on its sector expertise, SFS tailored a 7-year agreement to refinance the balloon payment owed to another lender and additional funding to enable an equity restructure so the business could focus on future growth. The loan was secured against MV Green Isle (a 2015 Damen built workboat) and MV Green Storm (a 2011 Damen built crew transfer vessel). The solution helped to free up cash flow for Green Marine, enabling them to re-invest in other areas of the business.
“Along with market growth and our own aspirations as a company,” Mr Schofield continued, “we recognised the importance of having a strong financial backer to go along this journey with us and it was a breath of fresh air to work with such a proactive team.
“So while the current climate is challenging, our collaboration with SFS marks the start of what we anticipate being a long relationship. We see them as key to supporting us in moving forward by financing a range of new assets and services as our business grows.
“There’s a real need in the sector right now for vessels and expert engineers to support all the emerging offshore wind, wave and tidal energy projects, so it’s important for our industry that equally knowledgeable funders like SFS are ready to step in and facilitate investment.”
Andrew Southwood, Siemens Financial Services commented: “Supporting sustainable, experienced operations like Green Marine is an absolute pleasure for us. We are totally aligned in our aims to make the industry greener and cleaner, and we look forward to continuing to foster the business’ already impressive growth. We know most small marine business don’t have enough capital to fulfil their ambitions. Our new marine finance business builds on Siemens rich history in the marine market to provide marine business with the financial tools they need to be successful.”