The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will invest 200 million dirhams in a one billion dirham green bond issue launched by the National Railways Office (ONCF), with a view to refinancing the debt used to build Morocco’s electrified high-speed rail line (Al Boraq).
The EBRD is the only international investor in the bond, which will be aligned with the Climate Bonds Standard’s low-carbon land transport criteria, verified by a second party and certified by the Climate Bonds Standard Board, the EBRD said on Thursday in a press release, specifying that it will also benefit from a guarantee provided by the Tamwilcom guarantee mechanism.
“This first cooperation between the EBRD and ONCF is an important step, as it concerns Morocco’s first green bond in the infrastructure sector and builds on ONCF’s impressive results in this area”, underlines the same source, adding that it will serve as a platform for further cooperation on green initiatives.
The Al Boraq train began operating in Morocco in 2018 as the first high-speed rail system in Africa, recalls the London-based institution.
The high-speed line for passenger transport considerably reduces rail travel times between the major economic centers of Tangier and Casablanca, details the EBRD, noting that it promotes the use of environmentally friendly electrified rail transport rather than more carbon-intensive alternatives (road and air transport), in addition to allowing greater economic integration of two key cities, supporting private sector development and economic growth.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested more than €3.5 billion in the country through 88 projects.