|Date of loan:||13 Jul 2017|
|Customer:||Rīgas Satiksme SIA|
|Amount in EUR:||EUR 60 million|
|NACE sector / loan type:||Land transport|
|Infrastructure, transportation and telecom|
|This loan contributes to climate change mitigation: 86%|
The loan has been provided for the purchase of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and low-floor trams, as well as the construction of a re-fuelling station and investment in low-floor tram infrastructure.
The company is set to acquire 20 new low-floor trams and invest in related infrastructure. The total cost of the project is EUR 143 million. The delivery of new trams manufactured by Škoda Transportation (Czech Republic) is scheduled for 2017. The planned investment in infrastructure is aimed at adapting parts of the existing tram network to low-floor trams, including rail crossings, platforms at stops, feeding cables and overhead wires.
The company is planning to purchase hydrogen-powered public transport vehicles, including ten buses with hydrogen fuel cells. The new vehicles will replace the existing diesel buses. The total investment is estimated at EUR 7 million, expected to be co-financed from EU funds. The delivery is planned for 2019. The project also includes the construction of a hydrogen fuelling station.
Rīgas Satiksme is a limited company fully owned by the city of Riga, the capital of Latvia. The company provides public transport services and parking services in Riga. At year-end 2016, Rīgas Satiksme operated 460 buses, 200 trams and 270 trolleybuses, and it employed 4,100 people. The company carries nearly 150 million passengers a year.
The project will bring significant improvements in the service quality of public transportation in Riga and, potentially, slight improvements in the operational efficiency of the service due to the expected increase in service volumes. According to Rīgas Satiksme, the annual operational costs of the hydrogen-fuelled buses bus will be about 36% lower than those of the diesel buses. The impacts are, however, expected to be fairly small, as the project will replace a small fraction of the public transport fleet operating in Riga.
The use of energy in low-floor trams is approximately 30% higher than in older trams. The key environmental benefits from taking new trams and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles into use are the reduction of local air emissions, including nitrous oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM10). Noise emissions from the hydrogen vehicles will also be lower than those of diesel vehicles. However, the use of steam methane reforming in the production of hydrogen is not considered sustainable and will result in approximately the same greenhouse gas emissions as for diesel.
No significant negative environmental or social impacts are anticipated as a result of the project. Steam methane reforming of natural gas results in well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions similar to those from diesel vehicles. The overall emissions are high due to methane leakage in the production, transmission and distribution of natural gas, as well as emissions of greenhouse gases during the energy-intensive steam methane reforming process.
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