The dual mission of the Sea Ranger Service is to train young people into a maritime career, and to protect and restore biodiversity in our oceans. The ability to deploy the new ship is a big step for the Sea Ranger Service, as they now have some tangible resources to help expand their ocean conservation work and training of young people to other parts of Europe.
Currently at a shipyard near the Port of Rotterdam, the 24 metre sailing work vessel uses wind as its primary method of propulsion. This makes it a very low emission vessel, and in turn a low-cost way of delivering on necessary offshore research and biodiversity restoration services.
Financing for the ship has been provided by Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation; a foundation managed by Triodos Regenerative Money Centre (TRMC), NESEC Ship Finance and PDENH (sustainable impact fund from the Dutch province of North Holland).
What makes the financing setup unique is that the conservation business model of the Sea Ranger Service has now enabled investment funds and maritime sector financing to make an impact towards achieving better ocean health, where this may have primarily been financed through government subsidies or philanthropic funds in the past.
José van Pul Senior Investment Manager at TRMC says;
“Triodos Regenerative Money Centre finances innovative businesses and projects that can catalyse necessary sustainable transitions. By financing this vessel, we help the Sea Ranger Service to contribute to sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. At the same time, it offers young people a stepping stone towards a sustainable maritime career.’’
For some of the investors the project has proven to be a first, with Triodos Regenerative Money Centre and PDENH never having invested in a shipbuilding project before. When speaking about the reasoning behind this decision Thomas Ticheloven, Investment Manager of PDENH says;
“The trigger for us is the absolute necessity of fossil free maritime activities. The Sea Ranger Service initiative entails the strong combination of a sustainable approach, making impact on a social scale, and also leading the way in a new market. This makes it very attractive to us.”
Pieter van der Burg, Managing Director of veteran ship funder Nesec Ship Financing explains that while they may be more familiar with the financing of cargo ships, they quickly decided to come onboard;
“Nesec have been ship financiers since 1946, and generally we finance cargo ships. We see a lot of development going on in the maritime industry which align with what the Sea Ranger Service does, meaning emission control, carbon capture, those types of objectives. There is a scalability in their organisation and the way they have set themselves up, so that’s why we thought we can support them and see how we can further develop this together with them.“
Giving further detail to the need for this new ship, Wietse van der Werf CEO and Founder of the Sea Ranger Service says;
“We are very pleased to announce this financing agreement. Through government contracts we have serviced over the last years, we have shown that there is a great need for the Sea Ranger Service to revive our oceans. It is a growing market to measure the effects of climate change on our seas and help restore biodiversity in it, to mitigate.”
The new vessel is expected to enter service early 2024 and will be deployed in Dutch and British waters. For more information about the Sea Ranger Service, visit searangers.org.