EBRD and multi-donor E5P fund to finance “green” buses for Yerevan

By Loretta  Martikian

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  • Yerevan will benefit from new “green” buses to help improve the environment
  • Investment to introduce modern, CNG, low-floor buses to support the ever-growing demand
  • EBRD loan boosted by the E5P donor grants where the EU is the largest contributor

The Bank is extending a €20 million sovereign loan to Armenia for the benefit of the Yerevan Bus Company to acquire new compressed natural gas buses. The vehicles will improve the service for the city’s 1 million inhabitants by increasing the reliability, safety and efficiency of public transport while benefiting the environment by reducing emissions.

The EBRD loan is supported by a capital grant of €5 million provided by the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), a multi-donor fund managed by the EBRD. The European Union is the largest contributor to the E5P fund while Sweden is the largest bilateral donor and initiator of the fund.  Other donors to the E5P fund in Armenia include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic and the EBRD Taiwan Business TC Fund.

The project aims to enhance public transport mobility in Yerevan and is part of the EBRD’s Green Cities Framework, which is a programme that supports municipal “green” investment, available across all of the economies where the EBRD invests. The new low-floor buses will accommodate passengers with limited movement, including the elderly and disabled.

The Yerevan Bus Company will also benefit from EBRD’s technical cooperation support for corporate development, support to the introduction of new ticketing system, stakeholder engagement taking the different needs and abilities of the passengers into account, as well as advisory to enhance gender equality and inclusion through promoting safety for all, women in particular.

Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of Yerevan office said: “This is yet another step to strengthen our engagement with the city of Yerevan. We are confident that the new buses will be well received by the public and will improve environmental and safety standards. This will boost demand for public transport and facilitate its expansion. Our priority is to improve lives for the citizens of Armenia and make the environment more ‘green’.”

“The EU is happy to invest in smart mobility and sustainable urban transport through the new “green” buses initiative for Yerevan, to help to improve and modernise bus operations in the capital. This flagship initiative gives a clear pathway for the green investments that will be provided in order to reach our common climate targets. It will not only help to shape transport transformation and to care more about the environment, but also will provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation to passengers with limited movement,” mentioned the EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin.

The European Green Deal and Team Europe initiative make it clear that environmental and climate challenges require urgent action by the EU, MSs and the partner countries. The EU and Armenia already have a significant track record in financially supporting and leveraging investments in connectivity and green transformation of economy. The E5P multi-donor fund has been fostering such investments in Armenia. Today’s signing event in relation to the EBRD-E5P Yerevan CNG Bus project has shown action at EU, national and local level.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Armenia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested over €1.67 billion in 195 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 91 per cent of these investments in the private sector.

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