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    Reference: 20220266
    Release date: 15 July 2022

    Promoter – Financial Intermediary




    The project entails the financing of a fleet of Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) for collecting ocean data, mainly to the benefit of the offshore wind energy sector and marine science.

    Additionality and Impact

    The project concerns the production and deployment of a new fleet of Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), as well as RDI of additional technological solutions for ocean monitoring and surveying. The project is aligned with the European Blue Economy policies and the Bank's SOS (Sustainable Ocean Strategy). It contributes to ocean monitoring and in particular to the Digital Twin of the Ocean as well as to the sustainable development of ocean resources, including off-shore wind energy. It, therefore, supports the European Green Deal and Digital Transformation. It also addresses market failures in ocean technologies, arising from long and difficult testing phases, before deployment. The project also allows the promoter to further enhance and expand its offering in line with its strategic roadmap. The EIB's involvement provides additional financial flexibility, diversifies the funding base, and unlocks long term funding for the implementation of this project, which would not be otherwise accessible to the Company via commercial banks.

    The project has positive environmental impacts arising from increased ocean data and monitoring.


    The main goal of the project is to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative ocean monitoring solutions with Uncrewed Surface Vessels. The project will support the company to develop further its ability of providing ocean surveys with integrated data sets (including weather data, vessel traffic data and other relevant variables) for the sustainable development of ocean assets, in particular offshore wind farms. The project will generate substantial environmental economic benefits. These benefits cannot be quantified directly, but it is assumed that by increasing innovation and enhanced evidence for national policies, XOCEAN can create positive environmental externalities. In compliance with the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Blue Economy communication, issued by the Commission in 2021, stresses the importance of improving our knowledge of the ocean and its ecosystems in supporting the development of a sustainable blue economy to manage consistently blue assets. "Marine and maritime research and innovation are essential for achieving the EU's ambition to become climate-neutral by 2050, for protecting and restoring marine ecosystems and for making the blue economy a "laboratory" driving sustainable innovation forward." The project will also contribute to support the development of the marine robotic technology and digital ocean monitoring and surveying techniques. The Promoter has significant experience in the sector and is subject to national regulation of its current activities. Increased data on the ocean can improve decision-making and in particular supports the adoption of Maritime Spatial planning actions, which are compulsory for all European coastal countries, since 2021.


    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)

    EUR 20 million

    Total cost (Approximate amount)

    EUR 95 million

    Environmental aspects

    The development and deployment of USVs is not covered by Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU. A number of components included in this project may be classified under Annex II of the Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU, meaning that the Competent Authority makes the decision as to whether a formal environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required or not. Alignment to this and to other national and EU environmental legislation and the status of any pre-existing development consents will be reviewed and assessed during appraisal.


    The Promoter has been assessed by the EIB as being a private company not subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions. However, if after the project appraisal, the EIB were to conclude that the Promoter is after all subject to EU public procurement legislation Directive 2014/25/, where applicable, then the Bank would require the Promoter to ensure that contracts for the implementation of the project will be tendered in accordance with the relevant applicable EU procurement legislation 2014/25/EU, where applicable, as well as Directive 92/13/EEC as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU, with publication of tender notices in the EU Official Journal of the EU, as and where required.


    Signed - 16/11/2022


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).

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