EBRD extends €22 million loan and grant package for 100 green buses in Turkey

By Olga Rosca

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  • Clean energy buses to help renew ageing public transport fleet in Mersin
  • Public transport in southern Turkish city is under strain due to population growth
  • Gas-powered fleet to significantly reduce CO2 emissions

Residents of Mersin will enjoy a new environmentally friendly, modern and comfortable public transport service as 100 new compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses are set to replace an ageing fleet thanks to a new loan and grant package provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The Bank is extending a €15 million 10-year loan, accompanied by a €7 million grant from its Shareholder Special Fund, to ease the strain on Mersin’s public transport system and help improve the urban environment for almost 2 million people.

Located in southern Turkey, Mersin has seen its population grow rapidly, in part due to an inflow of refugees from Syria. The EBRD funds will help the municipality expand its urban transport capacity and provide better quality services to the benefit of all.

The city will buy 30 accordion-type and 70 solo modern CNG buses to boost fuel efficiency, decrease maintenance costs, reduce vehicle breakdowns and lower the system’s carbon footprint. On average, the new fleet is expected to help save 20,468 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually compared with the continued use of existing diesel buses.

The municipality has also strengthened its commitments to gender equality and is working on a set of measures to enhance women’s security in the public transport.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “This investment will have a direct impact on people’s lives, providing better, safer public transport and cleaner air in the city. While tackling congestion, a good bus service is also vital to tackling social exclusion.”

Vahap Seçer, Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, said: “It is our responsibility to fight against global warming and climate change, which affect the future of the world. While protecting the air, water and soil of our city, we also have to work on issues concerning the quality of life, such as transportation and clean energy. As Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, we are pleased to cooperate with the EBRD on this project and we will continue to work together for a greener Mersin. I would like to thank everyone who put effort into this project, which is going to make a huge contribution to the future of Mersin.”

A leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested more than €14 billion in 353 projects in the country since 2009, with the overwhelming majority of those projects in the private sector. Sustainability is at the heart its work.

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