Havila Voyages has released a statement regarding the financing of its four Norwegian coastal ships.
“On Friday, April 8, the EU extended sanctions against Russian companies. GTLK, the owner of the leasing company in Hong Kong that has financed the Havila Capella, is among the sanctioned companies,” the company said, in a statement.
Havila said it assumes that the sanctions will prevent GTLK from carrying out the financing of the three remaining vessels being built at the Tersan shipyard in Turkey.
“We support sanctions against Russia in this dire situation the world is in and are now working to refinance Havila Capella to break all ties with sanctioned and Russian-owned companies,” said CEO Bent Martini.
“The Havila Capella is the only one of our ships that is financed and leased from GTLK. The remaining ships are owned by the Tersan shipyard until we take delivery of them,” he added.
The company said that all sailings on the Havila Capella will go ahead and the ship is registered in the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register, with the Norwegian flag, Norwegian crew and Norwegian operating company.
“Havila Voyages is the operator of Havila Capella. The ship is approved by the Norwegian authorities and satisfies all requirements in the Norwegian Maritime Act so that it can sail under the Norwegian flag. Even though we have paid rent to a Russian-owned company, the ship is Norwegian for all practical purposes,” Martini explained.
“We have assessed what has now happened as a possible outcome and have for a period worked to find alternative financing for our coastal cruise ships,” he added.
The line’s second ship, the Havila Castor, is set to be delivered soon with its started scheduled on May 10 in Bergen, Norway.
“We have to work with several options. The short-term solution is to take delivery of Havila Castor as soon as we can. The slightly more long-term solution is to find an alternative financing for the last two ships under construction, as well as how we will solve Havila Capella which is already in operation,” Martini said.
“The ships at the Tersan shipyard are owned by the shipyard until delivery. The plan was to finance the ships through leasing agreements with GTLK Europe and GTLK Asia, two reputable companies in ship financing, but today’s situation makes it impossible for us to use GTLK as a financing institution for our ships.”
Martini says it is difficult to say when new financing is in place, but the company is well underway with the work.
“It is about significant sums of money to finance four coastal cruise ships, and these are complex exercises. It will take some time before everything is landed. We will comply with current sanctions, regulations and Norwegian legislation when refinancing our ships.”