Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

EU to support first-ever electric public transport in Batumi

Tbilisi, 13/07/2017 - 02:00, UNIQUE ID: 170718_11
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Thanks to a grant from the E5P Fund where EU is the largest contributor and a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Batumi will become the first city in South Caucasus to have electric buses in its public transport fleet.

An E5P grant of over GEL 4 million (€1.5 million) will be used to purchase 10 new electric buses. The European Commission along with EU member states: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, are the largest contributors to the Fund for Georgia. Other donors include Norway, TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the USA. Georgia is also a contributor to the E5P fund with €1 million.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Batumi, European Commission Vice President Maros Šefčovič said: "The EU is committed to the global transition to clean energy and these electric buses are an excellent example of that. Energy transition in transport is already under way and I am glad to see that Batumi is a pioneer for it not only in Georgia, but in the whole region."

“Transportation is one aspect we cannot do without in this day and age and therefore the movement towards clean and green transportation is very important. This is the first time electric buses will be introduced in the Caucasus and I am pleased that we will have them in Batumi. We are reducing air pollution while giving our bus users — local population and growing numbers of daily visitors and tourists — cleaner and at the same time quieter rides. Thanks to the EBRD for supporting this project, which will have a significant demonstration effect for such technology and potential for multiplication in Georgia and the whole region,” said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia.

Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe & Caucasus said: “This is the first electric bus project supported by the EBRD and the first time such buses will be used in the Caucasus. We aim, based on the successful implementation of this project, to do more to improve the environment and the lives of the citizens of Georgia. This is an important milestone.”

"Batumi has compelling ambitions towards climate change mitigation and is taking significant actions to fulfil them. By implementing the project, Batumi will be the first city in the south Caucasus where electric buses are introduced. I am confident that the project will make a significant contribution to the accomplishment of the strategic goal of the city – to become an attractive city with decent living conditions for its population and a major tourist destination of the region," said Giorgi Ermakov, the Mayor of Batumi.

The project is part of the EBRD’s Green Cities Framework, which is a programme supporting municipal “green” investments and available across all of the Bank’s countries of operations. As part of the project, the EBRD will also provide €0.8 million in technical cooperation funds to assist the development of a Green Cities Action Plan for Batumi, the corporate development and stakeholder participation programmes.

Background information on E5P

The E5P is a €180 million multi-donor fund operating in the Eastern Partnership countries of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The European Union is the largest overall contributor to E5P with committed funds of €70 million. For E5P in Georgia the EU has pledged €10 million which is boosted by additional commitments from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, TaiwanBusiness EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the USA. The pledged funds are to help Georgia improve energy efficiency, contributing to energy security and economic competitiveness and policy dialogue, while having a positive impact on the environment.

The main objective of the E5P initiative is to use grants to leverage loans dedicated to municipal energy efficiency and environmental projects, for example the rehabilitation of water and wastewater systems, solid waste management, street lighting, local transport and the insulation of public buildings.

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