ComfortDelGro gets $23m green loan to buy hybrid buses for Australia fleet

ComfortDelGro CabCharge's transit depot in Queanbeyan, New South Wales. The company said the hybrid buses use 30 per cent less fuel and make significantly less noise when idling at, and departing from stops. PHOTO: COMFORTDELGRO CABCHARGE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - ComfortDelGro'S Australian subsidiary has secured a A$25 million (S$23.1 million) green loan from OCBC Bank to finance its hybrid bus fleet in Victoria, the transport giant announced in a media statement on Tuesday (Jan 21).

The loan was structured according to the green loan principles issued in 2018 by the Loan Market Association and Asia Pacific Loan Market Association.

Proceeds from the green loan will be used to purchase 50 hybrid buses. Delivery of these environmentally friendly buses has begun, with the last batch of buses expected in mid-2022, ComfortDelGro said.

These low-floor buses will feature Volvo's parallel hybrid driveline and meet Euro VI emission standards.

According to ComfortDelGro, tests have shown that the Volvo hybrid driveline reduces nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by up to 50 per cent, and lowers fuel consumption by up to 39 per cent in mixed traffic.

The company added that the hybrid buses use 30 per cent less fuel and make significantly less noise when idling at, and departing from stops.

Yang Ban Seng, managing director and group CEO of ComfortDelGro noted that sustainability considerations are at the core of the group's business strategy, and that the green loan is another milestone following the group's inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index last September.

Separately, the loan also expands OCBC Bank's sustainable finance portfolio to the transportation sector, and is in line with the lender's goal of building a $10 billion sustainable finance portfolio by 2022.

Elaine Lam, head of global corporate banking at OCBC Bank, noted that investment in low carbon public transportation is critical to developing sustainable cities.

"We hope this green loan sends a positive message to encourage peer industry players to take steps to support sustainable urban development through green financing options," Ms Lam added.

As at 10.02am on Tuesday, ComfortDelGro shares were trading at $2.23, down two cents, or 0.9 per cent.

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