Trinidad & Tobago

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Support from Export Finance Australia enabled two world-renowned Australian shipbuilders to take their business to the Caribbean.

The sea bridge between Trinidad & Tobago is the main route for transport, tourism, and supply delivery across the island nation.

When it was time to update the aging inter-island ferry fleet, Export Finance Australia was able to help. Our longstanding relationship with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago enabled us to be well-positioned to provide ship financing.

One major need, two Australian providers

We supported two businesses for the opportunity: Austal – a global shipbuilder based in Western Australia, and Incat – a specialised shipbuilder based in Tasmania.

Both are long-term and valued customers of our Project & Structured Finance (PSF) team, with each business relationship spanning over decades.

We provided a Buyer Credit Facility to enable Trinidad and Tobago’s National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO) to purchase ferries from both shipbuilders. Our PSF team, aligning to the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits, helped to ensure the transaction was a success.

To have a government agency in partnership with us provides an enormous amount of credibility in our customers’ eyes.

Ben Marland, Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Austal

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Supporting local businesses

Our PSF team saw that the ferries were a vital lifeline for the people of Trinidad & Tobago. But they also recognised the project’s potential to support Australian businesses and jobs.

Incat’s Managing Director, Craig Clifford, said the finance was crucial in enabling the Trinidad and Tobago government to enter a contract with them.

“They had access to the finance to pay the deposits and progress payments we required, so we could construct the vessel and keep over 600 of our people gainfully employed.”

Austal’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Ben Marland, adds that we provided legitimacy to the complex, multi-stakeholder transaction.

“They were instrumental in facilitating a government-to-government transaction – as well as the loan agreement and the legal and financial aspects of the deal,” Ben said.

Craig agrees that Export Finance Australia provides a valuable service to the Australian economy.

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They facilitate Australian exports, making sure skills remain here. By working closely with Export Finance, together great things can be achieved.

Craig Clifford, Managing Director
Incat