EIB provides up to EUR-95m loan for battery-powered trains in Germany

Photo: National Railway Infrastructure Company / All rights reserved.

January 4 (Renewables Now) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Tuesday that it is providing up to EUR 95 million (USD 107.2m) to support a project to operate battery-powered regional trains between Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg.

German lenders KfW IPEX-Bank and NordLB will co-finance the initiative with funds of their own, totalling EUR 104 million, while Luxembourg-based leasing company specialising in rolling stock, Alpha Trains, is providing an equity contribution.

Funds from the banks will be pooled together into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the umbrella of Alpha Trains, the EIB said.

The financing will be used to purchase 31 new Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility GmbH. Alpha Trains’ SPV will own the trains and lease them to German railway company Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB), which will operate the fleet on ten lines between Berlin and the Polish border. These battery-powered trains will replace diesel locomotives.

This summer, NEB won a contract tendered by Berlin-Brandenburg public transport association VBB to operate the ten routes for 12 years starting in December 2024. According to the EIB, the duration of this contract will not affect the leasing structure. Whoever wins the next contract can continue to use the lease agreement and the trains, which will be financed for 24 years, the EU lender said.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.128)

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