30.Apr .2020 20:20

EBRD to invest €75 million in modernization of Tbilisi metro

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“Residents of Tbilisi will benefit from a €75 million sovereign loan, with €65 million provided by the EBRD and €10 million by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), for the modernisation of the metro network, and the provision of new rolling stock,” the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced today.

EBRD noted that “the funds will finance the acquisition of 40 modern metro cars as well as the modernisation of a depot and a tunnel.”

“The metro upgrade and new rolling stock will improve the reliability, safety and efficiency of public transport and provide commuters with a comfortable and environmentally friendly means of transport. Tbilisi has almost 1.2 million inhabitants and becomes very congested during peak hours. The updated metro will encourage residents to shift from private to public transport, reducing air pollution,” EBRD stressed in its official statement.

On top of that, EBRD pointed out the “the project also aims to promote gender equality and improve health and safety standards. It will include on-the-job training opportunities promoting the employment of women and addressing equal opportunities in the urban transport sector.”

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it has launched a “Vital Infrastructure Support Programme as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic to guarantee the operation and development of crucial infrastructure supplies and services. Infrastructure investments are vital for the local economy and create or secure jobs.”

Ivane Matchavariani, Minister of Finance of Georgia, said: “in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic this support is of great importance for the development of our country.”

Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, EBRD Director for the Caucasus, said: “in this time of unprecedented challenges the EBRD is standing by its countries of operations and by its clients and is ready to offer vital support.”

“Infrastructure plays a critical role in providing the services we need for our daily lives and for the functioning of the economy. The modernisation of the Tbilisi metro will be a milestone in addressing the city’s key environmental challenges. The demand for quality public transport is high and such projects have an excellent environmental and social impact,” Catarina Bjorlin Hansen stated.

Since the start of its operations in Georgia, the EBRD has invested over €3.7 billion in 249 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 87 per cent of these investments in the private sector.