The Romanian city of Timisoara has secured $23m (€20.3m) loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to execute major infrastructure projects for the period 2020-2023.

These projects cover enhancements to Timisoara’s tram fleet and the restoration of its T5 tram line, along with two consultancies to back the city’s public transport reforms.

The development will make Timisoara the 53rd member of the flagship EBRD Green Cities urban sustainability programme, which is a $5.67bn (€5bn) programme introduced in 2016.

Under the initiative, cities work on a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) to recognise as well as develop customised capabilities for solving environmental and urban challenges.

In a statement, EBRD said: “The GCAP will build on Timisoara’s pre-existing key objective to improve its public transport infrastructure and services, which is a pre-requisite for business and economic development in the region.

“This is in line with the European Union’s (EU) Regional Operational Programme for Romania, targeting green and mobility investments.”

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The financial aid will be utilised to co-finance the development of Timisoara’s tram infrastructure, in conjunction with EU’s $60.74m (€53.6m) grant.

This project will cost around $98.81m (€87.2m), together with national and local aids and technical cooperation funds.

By bridging the gap for Timisoara’s infrastructure programme, the EBRD loan will enable the introduction of long-term green urban planning in the city.

The improved electric transport systems are projected to support energy efficiency, cut down CO2 emissions and enhance the quality of the public transport.

This project is expected to save 22.2% of current emissions or up to 683t of CO2 equivalent annually.

Last month, EBRD sanctioned Egypt’s loan request of up to $284.28m (€250m) to partly finance a project to modify Alexandria’s Abu Qir railway into an underground metro.