EIB, KfW IPEX-Bank and NORD-LB financing new trams in Chemnitz
Together, they will make credit lines totalling €189 million available to the local public transport authority Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen (VMS) to expand its fleet and maintenance capacity. The EIB’s share of this is €89 million. The consortium leader KfW IPEX-Bank and the account-holding bank NORD/LB will each provide €50 million.
The investment volume of the project is €234.5 million. It includes the financing, procurement and maintenance of 19 new all-electric regional tram-trains manufactured by Stadler. These vehicles can run on electric tram networks in cities as well as electric railway networks, providing a better link to the Chemnitz inner-city network from the surrounding region, where residents will benefit from faster and more direct connections. In addition, there are plans to build a new maintenance depot near Chemnitz central station for servicing the new trams and older public transport vehicles.
The financing volume also includes the refinancing of a railway depot built in 2016 for the maintenance of 29 rail vehicles used on the Mittelsachsen electric railway network. Starting in summer 2023, 11 battery electric multiple units for the Chemnitz-Leipzig line will also be serviced here.
The new tram-trains will be delivered from 2025, with passenger services scheduled to start in 2026. 5.3 million passengers are expected in the first year of operation. This is the first EIB financing for VMS.
The project is an integral part of the Chemnitz model, one of the most important public transport projects in Saxony. The aim of the Chemnitz model is to provide a smooth connection between the centre of Chemnitz and the surrounding areas. These investments will modernise the entire public transport system and improve the quality of public transport services. The project therefore directly contributes to the transport transition and climate action.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “We are pleased to be supporting the modernisation of public transport in Chemnitz and the surrounding area. Attractive tram networks foster the transition to climate-friendly mobility by encouraging commuters to switch from road to rail, thus avoiding the CO2 emissions and congestion caused by the use of private transport.”
Andreas Ufer, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank, said: “We are pleased to be co-financing another flagship project for the transport transition in Germany with our long-standing and valued partner VMS and our other consortium partners. This is also another good example of the mobility owner concept that we are promoting, in which the separate operation and ownership of vehicles can have a number of advantages for municipalities.”
Heiko Ludwig, Global Head Structured Finance at NORD/LB, said: “We are very pleased that we are able to support our long-standing customer VMS in this forward-looking project. Shifting from road to rail is a key element of the transport transition and will make a major contribution to greater sustainability.”
VMS Managing Director Mathias Korda said: “The new vehicle fleet will make journeys more cost-effective and environmentally friendly through the principle of manufacturer delivery and maintenance, which has already been successfully implemented in the Mittelsachsen electric railway network.”