ONCF Green Bond

Location:

Morocco

Project number:

53863

Business sector:

Transport

Notice type:

State

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

20 Jul 2022

Status:

Signed

PSD disclosed:

01 Aug 2022

As permitted by paragraph 2.6 of Section III of the Access to Information Policy, disclosure of this PSD was deferred in accordance with paragraph 1.4.4 of the Directive on Access to Information.

Project Description

Provision of an investment of up to MAD 200m (EUR 19.2m) in favour of Office National des Chemins de Fer ("ONCF"), Morocco's national integrated railway company. The investment will entail the subscription to a local currency senior secured green bond for up to MAD 1 billion (EUR 95 million equivalent) through public placement. The bond will be aligned with the Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard as verified by a Second Party Opinion ("SPO") and certified by the Climate Bonds Standard Board.

Project Objectives

The Bond proceeds will be used to refinance debt used to finance the electrified high-speed rail line linking Tangiers to Casablanca ("Al Boraq"). The investment will result in overall capital market development through supporting the first green bond in Morocco in the infrastructure sector. The development of an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) will require the client to comply with certain standards after subscription.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 66

Transition impact of the project arises from the Resilient and Green transition qualities:

(i)             Resilient - The proposed investment contributes to overall capital market development through supporting the first green bond in Morocco in the infrastructure sector, which will be in line with Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard and received a SPO and will have an important demonstration effect as it will incentivise issuers to broaden the type of capital market products that they deploy; and

Green - The proceeds of the Bond will refinance debt used for the construction of the Al Boraq high-speed electrified passenger rail line and is 100% GET. 

Client Information

OFFICE NATIONAL DES CHEMINS DE FER

ONCF, Morocco's national railway integrated company, is a fully state-owned entity organised as a public establishment with industrial and commercial nature, active in three transport market segments: (i) phosphate rock transport carried out for the State-owned OCP Group, (ii) general freight transport and (iii) intercity passenger transport. The company is responsible for building and maintaining the rail infrastructure and operating train services. ONCF is the network owner and operator for the Moroccan railway sector.

ONCF was created in 1963 to manage the existing network and railway services formerly operated by three private foreign-owned concession companies. ONCF operates under the authority of the Ministry of Transport and Logistics ("MTL"). The ONCF is administered by a Board of Directors chaired by the Minister, and managed by the General Manager appointed by Dahir (Royal Decree).

EBRD Finance Summary

MAD 200,000,000.00

Subscription to a local currency domestic senior guaranteed green bond in Morocco for an amount of up to MAD 200 million (EUR 19.2m equivalent), representing up to 20% of the overall issuance.

Total Project Cost

MAD 1,000,000,000.00

Additionality

The Bank's additionality is mainly driven from 1) Providing funding which better matches asset life with funding structure. 2) Closing the funding gap and supporting carrying out a successful book-building process. 3) EBRD's involvement will help to trigger enhanced practices at the level of the bond market through green bond issuance in line with Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard. 4) Developing an ESAP, which will require the client to comply with certain standards after subscription.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (2019 ESP). The Project is a capital markets transaction (Green Bond). The use of proceeds is focused exclusively on refinancing of the previous investments into Al Boraq high-speed train and will explicitly exclude any new high-risk or category A projects. The ONCF Green Bond Framework is in line with the requirements of the Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard (CBS), as verified independently by a SPO. The Project supports Paris Agreement goals for mitigation based on meeting the CBS criteria. An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed and includes requirements relating principally to corporate-level management systems given the non-project nature of the Bank's financing. After subscription, the Bank will require the Company to comply with the PRs, and the EBRD proceeds will not be used for any new high-risk or Category A projects in line with EBRD's E&S Policy 2019. The Bank will monitor the Company's performance through reviewing annual reports prepared by the Company and published on its website.

PSD last updated

01 Aug 2022

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

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Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to compliance@ebrd.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

 

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