Alpha Trains green refinance deal: Certified EUR 250m, US private placement for energy efficient passenger trains

Innovative green finance Alpha Trains concludes a world first green private placement in the rolling stock sector, Certified using the Climate Bonds Low Carbon Transport criteria.

Green debt refinance associated with the acquisition of energy efficient electric passenger train sets.



What's it all about?

Luxembourg based Alpha Trains Group announced yesterday, it has tapped into the US market to successfully complete the world´s first green private placement by a leasing company in the rolling stock sector.

The Group has raised EUR 250m, which has been exclusively used to refinance debt associated with the acquisition of 63 modern electric multiple unit train sets (pictured above) equipped with energy efficient technology, reducing the energy consumption of passenger transportation.


Who are Alpha Trains? 

Alpha Trains are Europe’s largest private operating lessor of rolling stock, including passenger trains and locomotives used by operators in 13 European countries.


Low Carbon Transport Certification

This Alpha Trains private placement has attained Climate Bonds certification with assets eligible under the Low Carbon Transport Criteria.

Verification was provided by Sustainalytics.


Tell me more about Low Carbon Transport Certification?

The Low Carbon Land Transport Criteria sets out eligibility for certification under the Climate Bonds Standard umbrella, based around compatibility with an emission trajectory that limits global temperature rise to 2°C.

Applicable assets under the Criteria include public passenger transport e.g. rail, metros, trams, electric/hybrid buses, private light-duty and heavy goods vehicles that are electric, hybrid or alternative fuel, dedicated freight railway lines and supporting infrastructure.

Transport projects can be defined as low carbon on a per passenger-km (p/km), for passenger transport, or a per tonne-km (t/km), for freight, basis.

This allows all modes of transport to be compared and qualify should they fall within the threshold.


Who’s saying what?

Shaun Mills, CEO of Alpha Trains:

“We are proud to have obtained the Climate Bond Certification for this private placement as the first company in the rolling stock sector worldwide, which is a milestone for both our financing, environmental and social responsibility strategies."

"This new source of capital widens our lender base and, by providing modern and energy efficient electric rolling stock, we contribute to the achievement of the European Union´s greenhouse gas reduction targets and support the sustainable development goals of creating safe and sustainable cities.”


Sean Kidney, CEO Climate Bonds Initiative:

“Innovation & green finance leadership in rail transport from Alpha Trains make a good start to the year. There is tremendous global potential for well-structured green financing products to assist fund new rail infrastructure and rolling stock.“

“This new certified placement from Alpha Trains is an international demonstration to the rail sector of best practice in green refinancing that promotes sustainable investment in low carbon transport.”


Tanguy Claquin, Head of Sustainable Banking at CACIB:

“By issuing its first successful Green capital market transaction, Alpha Trains has become one of the most innovative private players in the rail market worldwide with best in class standards for Green Bond transactions.”

“Transportation is a key sector to fight climate change and we hope the Alpha Trains Green Private Placement will be instrumental in the further development of green transportation investments and financing.”



The Last Word

We like the basic features of this green deal. It’s a rail related refinance, a private placement and its EU based.

This last point has its own significance following the December 2016 release of an EC report recommending a host new measures for increased use of green bonds to help meet European 2030 climate and energy goals.

This was followed by the pre Christmas announcement of a High Level Group on Sustainable Finance as part of the ongoing Capital Markets Union reform process. Amongst the 20 members appointed to the group is our own CEO Sean Kidney.

Both developments hint to the enourmous potential to significantly scale up green finance markets across the EU.

We’ll have some more to say on this particular refinance in a coming Market Blog, meanwhile congratulations to Alpha Trains Group! 



Till next time,

Climate Bonds Communications



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