Farrell Lines And General Electric Credit Create A Maritime First
The Farrell Lines containership S/S Austral Entente was redelivered May 19 at Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans after a new 144-foot midbody section was added to the original 669-foot hull.
The "jumboization" increased the vessel's length to a C-8 vessel equivalent and more than doubled its refrigerated cargo-carrying capacity.
Farrell leased the S/S Austral Entente in 1973 through a leveraged lease financing arrangement with General Electric Credit Corporation (GECC), the shipowner. GECC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company, is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and is a leading lessor of transportation and industrial equipment. GECC also provided leveraged lease financing for the 144-foot midbody, thus creating, in effect, two leveraged leases on the same vessel, "a maritime first." A GECC spokesman also said this may be the first application of leveraged leasing to a major modification of a ship. The second lease, based on the reconstruction at a cost of about $14 million, will terminate at the same time as the original lease on the containership. Both leases feature government insured or guaranteed Title XI Bonds. Farrell Lines has returned the containership to service on Trade Route 16 between U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports and Australia- New Zealand.