EBRD lends $42m to Azerbaijani Shipowner to buy handysize pair

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) gives a loan to Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO), a large player in offshore support and merchant fleets, to buy a handysize pair of vessels.

The bank EBRD is contributing to the diversification of transport connections between Asia and Europe by providing a $42m (€38.71m) loan to Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO), a state-owned shipping company in Azerbaijan.

The loan is to finance the expansion of the company’s merchant fleet operations. The investment is expected to boost transport connectivity along the Middle Corridor.

ASCO will use the funds to expand its merchant fleet operations by purchasing two handysize vessels to transport dry cargo in international waters, enhancing regional maritime connectivity and trade.

The new vessels will support Azerbaijan’s drive to bolster the country’s position, as a crucial link along the extended Middle Corridor route, connecting Central Asia and South Caucasus with global markets.

Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) is the largest and oldest shipping company on the Caspian Sea, and plays an important role in maritime connectivity across this vital trade route.

It is comprised of offshore support and merchant fleets and two shipyards.

EBRD said that it will also support ASCO in improving its climate corporate governance and disclosure practices to better address decarbonisation challenges in the shipping sector, and pave the way for ASCO’s first sustainability-linked financial instruments.  

The EBRD is an important institutional investor in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In Azerbaijan, the Bank has invested more than €3.6 billion in 189 projects to support the country’s economic diversification.