Under its $7 billion global medium-term note programme, Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the financial arm of the Indian Railways, has issued $500 million of denominated, senior and unsecured green notes. The green notes will be issued with a ten-year maturity and a coupon rate of 3.57 per cent. Moody’s Investor Services rates the notes Baa3 and lists them on the India International Exchange Limited and the NSE IFSC Limited.
As per the reports, the proceeds will be used to fund eligible green assets through a finance leasing model. Alternatively, it will be used to refinance current debt for eligible green assets under its ‘Green Financing Framework from Green Debt’ in accordance with applicable laws, including India’s external commercial borrowing guidelines.
In August 2021, Indian Railways Organization of Alternate Fuel, the green fuel vertical of the Indian Railways, invited bids to develop hydrogen fuel cell-based technology for its trains. The pilot project entails retrofitting the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) spanning 89 km in the Sonipat-Jind section of the Northern Railways. Initially, two DEMU rakes will be converted to use hydrogen fuel, followed by two hybrid narrow gauge locomotives. An allocation of $1.07 million has been made for the pilot phase to be undertaken in the current year. The project aims to determine the efficacy of retrofitting existing diesel-powered trains with hydrogen fuel technology.