Railways is considering to float green bonds, a first of its kind by the public transporter, to fund its clean energy projects. We may look at issuing green bonds in order to fund clean energy and energy efficiency focused initiatives in railways, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Railways have undertaken a series of clean energy projects like setting up solar and wind energy plants and waste to energy plants to reduce its dependence on conventional energy. The details of the green bonds are being worked out and it will be announced in due course, he said.
The environment-friendly sustainable development projects are aimed to reduce carbon emission to mitigate adverse impact on environment, the official said. While rooftops of many trains and station buildings are being used for solar panels, some coaches and platforms are currently illuminated with solar power.
There is a plan to use the solar energy for traction purpose also, the official added. Railway Ministry is moving away from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS), the Centre's financial assistance, and is exploring innovative financing models to fund priority projects.
Railways received Rs 2000 crore as loan from LIC as part of its MoU for construction of doubling and electrification of some busy routes. Railways had signed MoU with LIC for Rs 1.5 lakh crore loan over five years period.
In its bid to cut down the huge energy bill of about Rs 33,000 crore, railways is also trying to get power at cheaper rate through bidding process. We are completing the process of selecting the successful bidder for its plan to source 585 MW power through competitive bidding.
About 44 firms has responded to the Railway request for qualification (RFQ) for supply of 585 MW power. Railways is doing away with its earlier practice of sourcing electricity through distribution utilities.