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Investor EnTrust Global Turns Sights to Green Shipping Assets

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December 17, 2020

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – U.S. investment company EnTrust Global, already a player in shipping finance, aims to buy ships that generate lower emissions, an executive said, the latest sign of efforts in the shipping industry to go green.

Global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, putting the industry under pressure to clean up. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.

New York-based EnTrust, which has $18.9 billion in assets, lends to the shipping sector through its Blue Ocean Funds. The funds have raised $2.1 billion date and have about $1 billion of that still available to finance deals.

Svein Engh, senior managing director of the Blue Ocean Funds, which was set up in 2015, told Reuters the company was raising separate capital to acquire ships.

“We are in the middle of fundraising for this new initiative which will look to make an impact through investing in greener assets. This will include everything from offshore wind support vessels and ferries to industrial cargo vessels,” he said.

“Unlike the lending business, we will be buying assets and they will be the best in class in terms of the environmental aspect. We will be looking to build a large portfolio of leases,” he said.

The United Nations wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions of the shipping industry by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050, a target that requires the swift development of zero- or low-emission fuels and new ship designs using cleaner technology.

“We need to be at the forefront and we can’t wait until there is a zero carbon solution at some point in the future,” Engh said.

Several international investors are already pulling back from investing in coal and related industries, such as power coal-fired power generation.

“We are not likely to invest in assets that will carry coal or certainly not vessels that only carry coal,” Engh said. “Investors will not allow these types of investments.” (Editing by Edmund Blair)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.
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