Tuesday, February 20, 2007

EBRD helps improve public transport in Romania

15 million loan to improve tram network in the city of lasi

London, United Kingdom - The city of lasi, the third largest in Romania, will benefit from an improved public transport infrastructure with the help of a €15 million EBRD loan for rehabilitation of the city’s tram network. A €5 million portion of the loan is syndicated to Raffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG.

The loan, with a maturity of 13 years, will be used to finance the modernisation of 16.4 kilometres of tram infrastructure, help reduce the noise and vibrations in the city centre, increase the speed of trams on the renewed sections and improve safety standards.

The project includes technical cooperation funds to assist the city with restructuring and improvement of public transport services in Iasi, including tendering and regulation of mini-bus services. The Iasi Public Transport Company will receive advice on commercialisation and identification of cost-effective outsourcing options. SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, also supported the project by funding a feasibility study and providing technical, economic and environmental assistance.

“The EBRD recognises the importance of investment in municipal infrastructure and providing long-term finance to municipal companies open to reform,” said Thomas Maier, EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure. In an effort to assist Romanian municipalities address public transport problems, the Bank has already been involved in urban transport projects in the towns of Arad, Brasov and Sibiu resulting in excellent relationships with these cities and developing potential for more transition-intensive projects.

The EBRD is one of the largest investors in Romania, having committed more than 3.2 billion in around 115 projects. In the Municipal and Environmental sector along, the Bank has committed over 400 million in such projects in nearly 18 municipalities across the country.

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