Croatia's Pula introduces new buses with €5 million EBRD loan

By Axel  Reiserer

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Gas-powered fleet to significantly reduce CO2 emissions

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the introduction of “green” buses in Pula, the largest city in the western Croatian county of Istria, with a €5 million loan to Pulapromet d.o.o, the municipal transport company.

The company will acquire up to 20 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses for urban transport in Pula, a major tourist destination in Croatia. The new buses will consume significantly less fuel than the current fleet, have lower emissions of CO2, reduce noise levels and offer passengers a better and more comfortable service.

The EBRD will further support the project by providing additional technical cooperation of up to €410,000 to prepare an updated urban master plan and transport strategy for the city of Pula and for assistance to the company in project implementation, together with financial and operational improvements.

Lin O’Grady, Deputy Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, said: “This loan underlines the EBRD’s ongoing commitment to supporting Croatian municipalities as they adapt to market standards and EU regulations. We fully support the company’s plans to improve their operational performance in order to introduce sustainable transport solutions that also benefit the environment.”

Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Regional Director for Croatia, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia, commented: “With this new loan we are deepening our cooperation with Pulapromet and the city of Pula. The investment in new buses will benefit residents and visitors as well as the environment and will further support positioning of the city as a leading tourist destination in Istria. We hope to develop similar projects with other Croatian cities.”

“The City of Pula is turning more and more to environmentally friendly energy sources ranging from the construction of natural gas systems to establishing charging stations for electric cars. In the last few years considerable funds have been invested in the reconstruction and development of Pula’s roads. By acquiring new, modern buses we will further improve the quality of public transport services for all the citizens of Pula,” said Boris Miletić, the Mayor of Pula. Satisfied with today’s signing, Igor Škatar, Director of Pulapromet, added that the new bus fleet would enable the company to respond better to challenges facing the public transport system.

Pula is the largest city in Istria county and one of the leading tourist destinations in the coastal Adriatic region with more than 350,000 visitors a year. This year Pula was included among the 100 most sustainable cities in the world.

The EBRD signed its first project in Croatia in 1994 and has invested over €3.57 billion in 190 projects to date. The Bank’s activities cover all areas of the economy but are especially strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.

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