An investment of €150 million (€131.67m) is to support green shipbuilding projects in France.
The agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Société Générale was made possible by the EU guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe, commonly known as the Juncker Plan.
It will support €750 million (€658.51m) of potential investment to finance new ships and modernise the existing fleet, as well as energy efficiency technologies to cut emissions in the sector.
It is the first time the investment mechanism has been applied to making the shipping industry more sustainable, although the offer is open to ship-owners across Europe.
The move has been backed by the French government, which hinted the deal could be followed by similar investments.
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The new EU guarantee mechanism will increase responsible investment in the maritime sector. The maritime sector must play its part in tackling climate change. In the near future, ships will have to emit less sulphur and efforts to cut CO2 emissions have been stepped up. This will require immediate investment, to which today’s agreement will contribute.”