The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced a €19.2m (MAD200m) investment in a green bond issue by Morocco’s national railway operator Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc (ONCF).
The investment in a certified green bond of €95m (MAD1bn) by the rail operator will be utilised for the refinancing of debt used for the construction of an electrified high-speed rail line in the country.
EBRD is said to be the only international investor in the bond that is in line with the Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard as verified through a ‘second party opinion and certified by the Climate Bonds Standard Board’.
In 2018, the Al Boraq train commenced operations in Morocco. It is the first high-speed railway system in Africa.
This electrified high-speed passenger rail line enabled to significantly cut down rail journey times between the key economic centres of Tangier and Casablanca.
By supporting private-sector development and economic growth, the line is also anticipated to facilitate the further economic integration of these two major cities.
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EBRD stated that “this first cooperation between the EBRD and ONCF is a significant milestone and is supporting Morocco’s first green bond in the infrastructure sector.”
It is also anticipated to serve as a platform for further cooperation on green initiatives.
Recently, the EBRD stated that it will invest over $100m (KZT50bn) in Kazakhstan Railways bond issue to improve the operator’s financial position.