The EBRD is continuing its support for the restructuring and modernisation of public transport in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, with a loan of up to €15mn to the municipal trolleybus company Autrolis.

A €5mn portion of the loan will be syndicated to HSH Nordbank Copenhagen branch and Nordea Bank Finland. The loan will finance 50 new trolleybuses and associated infrastructure.

The bank has been involved in the public transport sector reform in Kaunas since 2004, when it signed a €10mn loan with the municipal bus company Kauno Autobusai and provided significant support in structuring a public service contract between the city and the company. The EBRD has also supported the ongoing reform with the mobilisation of technical cooperation funding.

The public service contract for Kauno Autobusai introduced competitiveness and transparency in the public transport sector which has led to its consolidation with the two municipally owned public transport companies Autrolis and Kauno Autobusai providing complementary services.

The new loan to Autrolis will be used for the purchase of around 50 new trolleybuses to renew the companies aging fleet. The renewal of the trolleybus fleet will allow for a better fleet utilisation and maintain an environmentally friendly public transport service.

Thomas Maier, EBRD director for municipal infrastructure, says the bank will play a key role in the development of Autrolis and the participation of the private sector in the transport sector in Kaunas. With the latest transaction EBRD continues to support environmentally clean and sustainable public transport alternatives to increased private car usage.