Press release

CaixaBank participates in the refinancing of Sydney Light Rail project with NSW’s first operational PPP Green Loan

Sydney Light Rail

• This is the first Sustainable Financing signed by CaixaBank in the APAC-Australia region.

• CaixaBank has a Representative Office in Australia since 2018 to support its clients in trade and project finance.

CaixaBank has entered as a new lender in New South Wales’s first green loan for an operational ‘Public-Private Partnership’ (“PPP”), helping the Sydney Light Rail project refinance its almost $700 million debt facilities.

The Sydney Light Rail project comprised the design, construction and financing of the light rail network, and its operation and maintenance until 2036. This includes the new 12-kilometre dual-track CBD and South East Light Rail line and the existing 13-kilometre Inner West Light Rail line. Now fully operational, it is a vital component of Sydney’s public transport system, helping to ease traffic congestion, improve sustainability outcomes by reducing vehicle emissions, creating jobs and supporting economic activity.

The project, which is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 663,000 tones over a 30-year period, is being delivered by a Public-Private Partnership between Transport for New South Wales and the ALTRAC consortium, and partners Acciona, Alstom and Transdev.

The transaction marks an important milestone for NSW, as this is the first time that an operational NSW PPP has been issued with a green loan, being also CaixaBank’s first Sustainable Financing signed in the APAC region.

‘Green loan’ labels apply to projects that meet certain sustainable management criteria, such as renewable energy use, energy efficiency, clean transportation, pollution control, and climate change adaptation. Sydney Light Rail notably benefits from energy saving technology which will allow the trams to recover more than 99 per cent of the energy usually lost during their braking mode. The green loan was certified by the ‘Climate Bonds Standard Board‘, an independent body that verifies the conformance of loans and bonds to the rigorous ‘Climate Bonds Standard’. 

CaixaBank, the only Spanish bank in Australia

CaixaBank has been present in Australia since 2018, when it opened its representative office in Sydney, becoming the only Spanish bank in the country. As part of CaixaBank's International Banking network, the Sydney representative office's main objective is to promote communication channels between CaixaBank and local authorities and financial institutions, supporting and accompanying the bank's clients in the country in its activities both in foreign trade and in investments and implementation of projects; as well as Australian companies with business or interests in Spain.

In its product portfolio, CaixaBank offers multiple solutions for exporters such as trade Finance (endorsements, import and export documentary credits, documentary collection, SPOT, Standby Letters ...), cash management (national and international payments, massive payments) and working capital (confirming, factoring), as well as account management, time deposits, project finance and corporate loans.

The Australia office serves both SMEs and micro-enterprises that are starting their export activity as well as large corporations and business groups that manage more complex international projects.

CaixaBank supports its business clients in 127 countries through its International Banking network -composed of 6 international branches, 18 representative offices and 2 Spanish desks (Austria and Mexico), through 1,700 correspondent banks around the world, and through its highly specialized advisers in their country of origin, offering tailor-made and value-added solutions for their clients. 

CaixaBank: committed to sustainability

CaixaBank is one of the financial institutions most committed to sustainability, based on its Socially Responsible Banking Plan which includes five specific principles of action that make a direct contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through its activities, the bank supports environmental-friendly initiatives and projects that contribute to preventing and mitigating climate change and promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy and social development.

The bank has mobilized more than €21.9 billion in sustainable financing in the first half of 2021, with more than €7.3 billion formalized in green and ESG financing. CaixaBank has also participated in the issuance of 13 green, sustainable or social bonds, with a value totaling €14.6 billion. In this way, CaixaBank has mobilized 76% more that the full year of 2020.

At the first half of 2021 CaixaBank has ranked 5th in Europe in green and sustainable lending in the League Tables Top Tier by volume, according to Refinitiv.

By June 2021, CaixaBank had issued seven bonds in support of the United Nations’ SDGs, and it has the highest volume of ESG credit issues in euros for all European banks: four green bonds and three social bonds, for a total value of €6 billion and GBP 500 million.