Australia’s export credit agency EFIC has provided a multi-million dollar facility to support Incat Tasmania’s ship building contract with South American firm, Buquebus.

50% of the deal is guaranteed by ANZ.

The facility will finance the construction of the world’s first dual fuel, high speed passenger catamaran capable of operating on either LNG or diesel.

“This ship represents a significant step in the global move for natural gas powered ships to replace those operated with less environmentally friendly fuels, and we are very pleased to have the support of EFIC and ANZ,” says Incat’s chairman, Robert Clifford.

Paul Richards, head of structured export finance, ANZ adds: “EFIC’s partnership with ANZ has allowed Incat’s debt requirement to be met in a way that has delivered a great outcome for all parties involved.”

The 99-metre high-speed ferry will have capacity for 1,000 passengers and 158 cars and is due for delivery in October 2012. Buquebus will operate the vessel on their river plate service between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo in Uruguay.

This is the eighth Incat vessel built for Buquebus and the sixth vessel supported by EFIC.