The Dutch government has launched an initiative to invest approximately of $275 million (€250 million) to improve and modernize its short-sea shipping sector.
In a statement, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate said the investment will be made from the Nesec Shipping Debt Fund (NSDF) and will be specifically targeted at cutting emissions.
It says that many shipowners are “struggling with outdated ships, which do not always meet the latest emission requirements”.
Short-sea shipping is the transport of cargo across relatively short distances. Roughly 40% of all freight moved in Europe is classed as short sea shipping.
The NSDF is a joint initiative between the state bodies, including the Dutch Water Board, the province of Groningen, and private institutional investors, such as the NN Investment Partners and Waterland Investment Services.
Approximately 80% of the NSDF will be guaranteed by the state. State Secretary Mona Keijzer said: “The Netherlands has been a land of seafarers for centuries.
“The maritime sector is still one of the gems of the Dutch economy, with an added value of 26 billion euros and work for 275,000 people.
“Within this, shipbuilding and shipping are a source of innovation and export opportunities. The government is therefore happy to support these Dutch SMEs by providing guarantees for this fund. ”