Key Equipment Finance Arranges Financing for LNG Containerships for Pasha Hawaii

Key Equipment Finance served as the lead arranger for a group syndication providing $167.5 million in financing for MV George III, a 774-foot liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled containership that was recently delivered to join Pasha Hawaii’s fleet serving the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane. According to a press release from Key Equipment Finance, the vessel is the first LNG containership to fuel on the West Coast and the first to serve Hawaii.

In addition to the MV George III, Key Equipment Finance is also serving as the lead arranger for the $167.5 million financing package for a second vessel, MV Janet Marie. Like MV George III, Janet Marie is a 774-foot, LNG fueled, U.S. Jones Act vessel. Brownsville, TX-based Keppel AmFELS, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, built the MV George III and is currently constructing the Janet Marie, which is expected to deliver later this year. Both vessels are named in honor of the late parents of George Pasha IV, president and CEO of The Pasha Group, which is the parent company of Pasha Hawaii.

“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 of bank channel and clean energy at Key Equipment Finance, said. “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.”

MV George III and Janet Marie are two of the first LNG-powered vessels to serve the West Coast, according to Key. Both will operate fully on LNG from day one in service, substantially improving the vessels’ environmental footprint while surpassing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2030 emission standards for ocean vessels, according to Key.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the delivery of George III and the construction of Janet Marie, which is making great progress,” Pasha IV said. “Accepting delivery of a new vessel is always a cause for celebration. 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.”

“We are pleased to deliver Pasha Hawaii’s first new build LNG-fueled containership vessel and the first to be IGF compliant vessel by the United States Coast Guard,” David Wedgeworth, president of Keppel AmFELS, said. “By working closely with Pasha Hawaii and Key Equipment Finance, we were able to resolve operational challenges posed by COVID-19 and deliver the vessel to their satisfaction. We have an extensive track record in designing and engineering a wide variety of vessels, but it’s always particularly fulfilling to deliver a new LNG vessel that benefits both the environment and the Jones Act market. We’re excited to have Pasha’s second LNG-fueled containership, Janet Marie, under construction in our shipyard now.”

Brandon Hannaman and Sera Oliver led the Key Equipment Finance team for these transactions.

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