The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to support the acquisition of modern high-speed trains by Trenitalia, which is a unit of state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. (FS).

This will be facilitated through subscriptions of FS bonds valued up to $622.32m (€550m).

The initial tranche of $396.02m (€350m) has been already approved, which will be transferred to Trenitalia via an intercompany loan.

It has now been finalised via the ‘subscription of a green bond under the Euro Medium Term Notes (EMTN) Programme of Holding FS’.

This project aims to bolster high-speed transport on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) in Italy and Spain in accordance with the 4th Railway Package of the European Union (EU).

EIB will fund half of Trenitalia’s acquisition of 34 trains.

Of these, 20 trains will be leased to its Spanish arm ILSA for operations on the Madrid-Seville-Malaga, Madrid-Barcelona and Madrid-Valencia-Alicante high-speed routes.

The rest will be operated by Trenitalia on the Turin-Trieste and Milan-Naples-Salerno-Reggio Calabria tracks.

Through this project, Trenitalia will upgrade its current fleet for Italian routes, with an aim to improve competitiveness.

In a statement, EIB said: “This is the EIB’s first subscription of a green bond and therefore the first operation under the Green Bond Purchase Programme, which was approved by the EIB Group at the end of May 2021 and is in line with best practices and the EU taxonomy.”

This September, AB Transitio entered a $55.71m (Skr480m) loan agreement with EIB for acquiring new regional trains.