The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is bringing 35 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to Skopje, the capital of FYR Macedonia, in response to the ever-growing demand for cleaner and more sustainable public transport. The new buses will cut CO2 emissions by at least 15 per cent.
A €10 million (USD 11.5m) sovereign guaranteed loan provided by the EBRD will improve and modernise bus operations, enhancing public transport and improving air quality. As well as providing a fleet of CNG buses, replacing diesel buses, the project will help improve the performance of the bus company Javno Soobrakajno Pretprijatie Skopje (JSP), fully owned by the City of Skopje.
The technical cooperation package will also help the city to prepare a Green Cities Action Plan by 2020.This is the blueprint through which an individual city that signs up to EBRD Green Cities sets its own goals for environmental improvement and maps ways to achieve them. Skopje is one of 20 cities that have signed up to the EBRD Green Cities programme, of which 15 are already working on individual Green City Action Plans (GCAPs). The new buses in Skopje are the trigger project marking the city’s engagement with EBRD Green Cities.
Technical cooperation funds of €1.1 million provided from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF) will be available to support reorganisation of the bus operations in Skopje and the preparation of the GCAP.
The EBRD has invested €1,832 million in 113 projects in the Macedonian economy, much of it in the infrastructure sector. This will be the 16th project signed under EBRD Green Cities.