News Column

GEF Grant to Support ADB Clean Bus Project in People's Republic of China

June 11, 2014



MANILA, Philippines, June 11 -- The Asian Development Bank issued the following news release:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will boost the management and monitoring of a program to lease 5,000 clean buses in the People's Republic of China (PRC) through a technical assistance grant of $2.315 million provided by the Global Environment Facility.

The technical assistance will help transport operators select, operate, manage, and continually improve the clean buses to be leased in at least 15 PRC cities under an ADB loan program approved in 2012.

"The grant will ensure that the potential environmental, social, and economic benefits of the ADB clean bus leasing program are fully achieved, especially in the smaller cities in less developed provinces," said Biao Huang, an ADB Investment Specialist.

With rapid urban growth in the PRC accelerating the rate of car ownership--bringing with it increased congestion and air pollution--national and local governments see promotion of public transport as a priority. Recent instances of severe air pollution are adding to the urgency to replace older diesel bus fleets and adopt clean bus technology.

Clean buses must meet stringent emissions and energy efficiency criteria, running on cleaner fuels such as compressed or liquefied natural gas or biomethane or involving hybrid or electric motors.

Under the clean bus leasing program, ADB is providing loans to private sector leasing companies up to a limit of $100 million per company and a total program limit of $275 million, to lease 5,000 clean buses to public transport operators by 2018. At least 30% of the public transport operators are located in less-developed inland or western provinces.

However, international studies show that factors such as poor driving and inadequate maintenance of buses can increase fuel consumption by an average of 10%-15% and that poor selection of vehicle type and management erodes potential savings.

The grant project will develop manuals and other information materials on bus selection, management and information technology systems for energy-efficient operation, performance monitoring programs, and other training programs.

The PRC's Clean Development Mechanism Fund will be focal point for the grant project, which will be undertaken over about 30 months to December 2016.

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