|Nearly lost in the flurry of regulations and proposed regulations is the issue of “Who pays?”. The amount of investment necessary for compliance, or anticipated regulations, is staggering. With scrubber and BWMT running into the millions per unit (plus infrastructure, down time, etc.), these changes are a major capital investment– not to mention the investment needed for a digital overhaul to prevent cyber threats, increase efficiency, equipment automation and more.
So who is going to finance new technologies and how do we manage risk of non-performing equipment? I have spoken with many ship financiers about this topic. While many publicly tout their company’s commitment to sustainability, when pressed about whether they would fund equipment manufacturers who are providing such equipment, the answer is no because “We can arrest ships, we cannot arrest equipment.” This is actually a flawed argument as, in this era of “smart” equipment, where digitalization is key, if a default situation occurs, the financier could simply have the equipment disabled. This would secure the asset (equipment) as the owner does not want to be out of compliance so will pay the equipment manufacturer, who in turn pays the bank.
Next month’s Marine Money conference in New York demonstrates what a large issue financing regulatory change is having on industry. With the convergence of regulatory, operational and financial factors, the money guys are paying attention.
As Jerry Maguire said, “Show me the money”!!