The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided €10 million loan to help buy 35 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses for Macedonia's capital, Skopje, the bank announced Tuesday.
The sovereign guaranteed loan will improve and modernize bus operations, enhance public transport and improve air quality, the EBRD said, adding the new buses would cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 15 percent.
As well as providing a fleet of CNG buses, and replacing diesel buses, the project will also help improve the performance of the bus company, Javno Soobrakajno Pretprijatie Skopje (JSP), which is fully owned by the city of Skopje, the statement said.
"Technical cooperation funds of €1.1 million provided from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF) will be available to support reorganization of the bus operations in Skopje and the preparation of the Green Cities Action Plan (GCAP)," it added.
GCAP is the blueprint through which a city that joins the bank's urban greening program EBRD Green Cities sets its own goals for environmental improvement and maps ways to achieve them by 2020.
According to the statement, Skopje is one of 20 cities that have signed up for the program, and the new buses mark the city's engagement with EBRD Green Cities.
This will be the sixteenth project signed under EBRD Green Cities program.
By Hale Turkes