Rotterdam Port Fund and NIBC Bank have jointly acquired a majority interest in Rolande, the developer and operator of LNG filling stations and producer of bio-LNG. Rolande, market leader in the Netherlands, was founded in 2005 and is helping logistics service providers make the switch to LNG as a fuel by building a European network of LNG filling stations. Current majority shareholder IVECO Schouten will retain a significant interest in Rolande. The transaction is expected to be finalised after completing the relevant approval procedures in the first half of 2019.
LNG, liquefied natural gas, is an attractive fuel for heavy road transport and shipping in particular. A LNG powered engine is cleaner and quieter compared to a diesel engine and leads to reduced emissions of CO2, NOx and particulate matter. LNG can be considered a transition fuel towards the wide spread application of bio-LNG, which brings additional benefits and contributes to a circular economy.
“After the opening of the first permanent LNG filling station in Tilburg in 2013, Rolande has experienced considerable growth and currently operates thirteen filling stations,” explains general manager Fred Schouten of IVECO Schouten. “Now that LNG is gaining an increasingly important position in the market, scale and expansion to other countries are essential in our view. Thanks to the Rotterdam Port Fund and NIBC we can accelerate the planned expansions.” Rolande fits the investment profile of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “The use of LNG as a fuel is a profitable and directly applicable alternative to diesel for the transport sector,” says Bastiaan van der Knaap, managing director of the Rotterdam Port Fund. “The further development to a greater use of bio-LNG leads to even more advantages in terms of emissions and we would like to assist Rolande in the realisation thereof.”
“LNG and bio-LNG play a crucial role in making heavy road transport and shipping more sustainable,” says CEO Jolon van der Schuit of Rolande. “Rolande wishes to play an important role in this. The further expansion of our network of filling stations in Europe and the marketing of bio-LNG are the main objectives. Together with the Rotterdam Port Fund and NIBC, we can achieve our ambitious growth plans.”
“We are pleased to support the growth plans of the innovative company Rolande together with the Rotterdam Port Fund,” says Brigitte van der Maarel, Head of NIBC Mezzanine & Equity Partners. “By enabling the international roll-out of the network of LNG filling stations, we can contribute to a sustainable and cleaner future for the transport sector.” The Rotterdam Port Fund is an independent investment fund that invests in innovative port-related companies with attractive market prospects, specifically focussing on sustainability and the energy transition, as well as attractive market prospects. The fund was established by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, NIBC Bank and a number of Rotterdam entrepreneurs. NIBC is an enterprising bank focused on client’s most decisive moments with advice, financing and investments. From our offices in The Hague, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Brussels, NIBC serves 600 mid-market businesses and more than 400,000 retail clients through a portfolio of client-focused products and services.
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