BANGKOK — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Energy Absolute Public Company Ltd. signed a 160 million Thai baht ($4.7 million equivalent) loan agreement to finance an electric ferry fleet for mass rapid transport in Bangkok—the first such transport system in Southeast Asia.
ADB led the structuring of the financing for the 600 million Thai baht project. It includes a $3.6 million concessional loan from the Clean Technology Fund, which finances the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings, as well as investments from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Export–Import Bank of Thailand.
“This project is a fine example of ADB’s leadership in climate finance and supporting green technologies that help our developing member countries meet the Sustainable Development Goals,” said ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa. “This project demonstrates the potential for electric mobility solutions beyond road vehicles to be adopted across Asia and the Pacific.”
The financing will be used for the E Smart Bangkok Mass Rapid Transit Electric Ferries Project. E Smart Transport Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Absolute, will operate 27 e-ferries along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Each ferry can comfortably carry up to 250 passengers per trip. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 18,900 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.
“Energy Absolute is proud to continue working with ADB as a trusted finance partner to support the expansion of our clean energy and sustainable transport business,” said Energy Absolute Deputy Chief Executive Officer Amorn Sapthaweekul. “This project demonstrates Energy Absolute’s leadership in e-mobility in Thailand and the region, and the potential to use technology developed within the region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Energy Absolute, which was established in 2006, is one of the largest renewable energy companies in Thailand and a pioneer of sustainable transport in the country. ADB supported the company for its maiden green bond issuance in 2019 and its first certified green loan financing in 2020.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.