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Key Equipment Finance is lead financing arranger for Pasha LNG containership

By Amy Thomas in Company News Posted September 9, 2022

blog-pasha-shipThe first LNG containership to fuel on the West Coast is now in service, thanks to Pasha Hawaii and financing brought about by Key Equipment Finance and several collaborators.

Pasha Hawaii's MV George III is the first of its kind

The MV George III is a 774-foot Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueled containership that has joined Pasha Hawaii’s fleet serving the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane. This is the first LNG containership to fuel on the U.S. West Coast, and is the first to serve Hawaii. LNG-fueled containerships are significantly cleaner and better for the environment than traditional cargo ships.

A second LNG-fueled container ship, MV Janet Marie, was also financed through Key Equipment Finance. Brownsville, Texas-based Keppel AmFELS, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, built the George III and is currently constructing the Janet Marie. Both vessels are named in honor of the late parents of The Pasha Group President and CEO George Pasha IV, marking three generations of service to Hawaii for the Pasha family.

"We are excited to see the delivery of George III and the progress of Janet Marie, both of which are beautiful vessels built with the industry’s best technology and design features.”
Peter Bullen, executive vice president, Key Equipment Finance

“Financing both of these containerships has been a collaborative effort from a diversified bank group representing institutions from the northeast mainland to Hawaii. It has been a pleasure to work together both with these finance leaders and with the forward-thinking teams at Pasha Hawaii and Keppel AmFELS.”

Financing was a group effort

Key Equipment Finance was the lead arranger of the group syndication providing $167.5 million in financing for George III. The financing team at Key Equipment Finance was led by Brandon Hannaman and Sera Oliver.

“This was a highly collaborative and structured transaction involving five investors and their respective counsel. We entered the progress payment facility in June 2020, and after pandemic delays, we successfully brought this over the finish line with final delivery and commencement at the end of July 2022,” said Sera Oliver, Director of Capital Markets at Key Equipment Finance. We had a strong investor group who stayed engaged every step of the way - and managed successfully through a pandemic – from initial funding to final commencement.”

Key Equipment Finance also worked closely with Raymond Dunn and Thomas Gallagher with Shipping & Finance, who acted as advisors to Pasha on the deal. Key Equipment Finance also worked with Womble, Bond, Dickerson (Jill Davidson) to serve as their agent, and they were an integral part of the successful close.

“We are the connectors. These kinds of deals take a lot of collaboration and connection within the industry, and that’s something that Key Equipment Finance is very good at.
Joe Messineo, Senior Vice President, Key Equipment Finance


George III will help environmental footprint

The MV George III is the first LNG-powered vessel to serve the West Coast, which will substantially improve its environmental footprint and help surpass the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2030 emission standards for ocean vessels. Energy efficiencies will also be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.

Compared to ships running on traditional fuels, LNG-powered cargo ships achieve a 99.9% reduction in diesel particulate matter and sulfur oxide emissions, 90% less nitrogen oxides and a 25% reduction in carbon dioxide.

“Promoting environmental sustainability is akin to ship building: a community of people moving in concert to achieve a common goal. Key Equipment Finance, through its Clean Energy program, takes great pride in lending to and partnering with companies who strive to reduce their impact on the environment,” said Mark Thomas, SVP, West Region Sales Director at Key Equipment Finance.” We’re honored to be a part of the team that helped put these vessels into motion.”

“Accepting delivery of a new vessel is always a cause for celebration,” said George Pasha, IV, president and CEO of The Pasha Group, which is the parent company to Pasha Hawaii. “To see these ships come to life, knowing they will support the needs of our customers while minimizing our environmental impact in the communities we serve, is a career milestone for me and a moment that will go down in Pasha history. We are grateful for the support we have received from Key Equipment Finance, the extended finance team they have put together, and the builders at Keppel. Their service and expertise have been unwavering through the unprecedented challenges we continue to encounter with a global pandemic, as well as labor and material shortages.”

The MV Janet Marie will join the MV George III soon, further increasing the energy efficiencies these cargo ships achieve.


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