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First stage of light rail gets even ‘greener’

The initial stage of Canberra’s light rail network became the first Australian transport public-private partnership to execute a green loan in December 2020.

Canberra Metro has partnered with the ACT Government to deliver award-winning, frequent, efficient and sustainable light rail services along the stage one alignment from Gungahlin to Civic.

Canberra Metro is delighted to announce that today it refinanced the $280 million debt facility with a Green Loan with Climate Bond Initiative certification under the Low Carbon Transport Criteria.

This is a significant achievement for not only the project, but for the ACT Government, Canberra Metro and its owners (John Holland, Pacific Partnerships (a member of the CIMIC Group), Aberdeen Standard Investments and Mitsubishi Corporation). It recognises the significance of the first stage of light rail in its ongoing contribution to Canberra’s sustainability.

The project incorporated sustainability principles during design and construction and is now running on 100% renewable electricity and utilising environmentally friendly measures across its operation.

The green loan has been issued in accordance with the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s green loan principles.

Categories that Canberra Metro qualified for the green loan under include renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, clean transportation, sustainable water and wastewater management and environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use.

In obtaining the Green Loan, Canberra Metro was assisted by our Financial Advisor and Green Structuring Advisor MUFG, our Green Loan Co-Ordinators, ANZ and CBA and our Mandated Lead Arranger banks ANZ, CBA, ING, Mizuho, NAB and SMBC.

A green loan is any type of loan instrument made available to eligible ‘green projects’. A green project may include renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change adaptation and green buildings that meet regional, national or internationally recognised standards or certifications.

Quote attributable to the Minister for Transport, Chris Steel:

The ACT Government is committed to taking real action on climate change, we were the first jurisdiction in Australia to successfully adopt 100% renewable electricity and we continue to set ambitious targets under the ACT’s Climate Change Strategy.

Achieving a green loan accreditation is a fantastic recognition of the environmental credentials of the ACT and the impact 100% renewable electricity has had on stage 1 of light rail.

I congratulate Canberra Metro on the work they have done to achieve this status and thank them for their continued operation of the light rail in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

The first stage of light rail shows the rest of Australia what is possible in major infrastructure and public transport projects.

Quote attributable to Chief Executive Officer of Canberra Metro, Lachlan Marks:

As CEO of Canberra Metro, I’m immensely proud to have secured this source of funding for our climate resilient project that ultimately makes the business more effective, secure and durable. In the face of the climate shifts to come, strengthening resilience factors across all facets of investment decision-making and business operations will help improve lives and livelihoods for generations to come.