Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua – During its semi-annual meeting, the Board of Directors of the North American Development Bank (NADBank) approved the Green Loan Program and three environmental infrastructure projects. These actions illustrate the Bank’s strategic direction to be at the forefront of climate investments for the communities it serves in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Many small, rural and other borrowers in the border region lack access to adequate financing to invest in improving their environmental sustainability. To address this gap, the Board of Directors approved the Green Loan Program with a financing commitment of up to US$300 million, along with its Green Loan Framework that establishes eligibility requirements and expected environmental benefits of these projects. The goal of the program is to increase financing, with adequate terms and conditions, for smaller scale green projects that will generate real environmental benefits. Through this program, NADBank will provide financing to financial intermediaries that can then provide loans on the terms required under the green loan framework. The program will also support ESG capacity-building for smaller financial institutions.
“Over the last few years, NADBank’s strategic direction has been sharpened to focus on sustainable investments that help develop the border region while combating and mitigating climate change, in coordination with public and private sector sponsors, no matter how big or small,” stated NADBank Managing Director Calixto Mateos Hanel. “We believe that our new Green Loan Program will help build a new market for the Bank, where access to financing for small-scale green projects is more challenging.”
The Board also approved close to US$156 million in financing to support three new projects, two in Texas—expansion of the international border crossing in Mission and construction of a solar park and energy storage facility in Kinney County—along with improvements to the wastewater collection system in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
“NADBank is enthusiastic about moving forward with financing for all three projects. We expect that investing in improved mobility at ports of entry, such as the Anzalduas, will reduce wait times and improve air quality in communities that host them,” stated NADBank Deputy Managing Director John Beckham. He added, “As we continue to grow the Bank’s portfolio, the Texas energy project reflects our commitment to investing in the expansion and reliability of renewable energy, while the project in Juarez confirms that investing in wastewater infrastructure remains our highest priority.”
The local water utility, Junta Municipal de Agua y Saneamiento de Ciudad Juárez (JMAS), is replacing four large sewer mains in the northwestern area of the city, which have deteriorated and are prone to leaks and failure. The project will prevent the potential discharge of up to 22.8 million gallons per day of untreated wastewater that could impact the Rio Grande River, a binational water source. JMAS will receive a US$11.5 million grant from NADBank’s Border Environment Infrastructure Fund, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, the Bank is authorized to provide a loan for up to US$15.4 million through the Corporación Financiera de América del Norte (COFIDAN) to support complete and timely execution of the project.
The City of McAllen, Texas, will receive a loan for up to US$63 million for the Anzalduas Land Port of Entry Expansion Project, which consists of the construction of commercial vehicle inspection facilities to support the processing of loaded southbound and northbound vehicles in Mission. Opening additional capacity at an existing port of entry in the region will help relieve congestion at other area ports of entry that are currently experiencing crossing delays, resulting in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and criteria pollutants caused by commercial traffic.
Finally, NADBank will provide a loan for up to US$65.7 million to support implementation of a 160-megawatt solar park and 40 MW, two-hour battery energy storage system to be built approximately six miles west of Brackettville in Kinney County. The park is expected to generate approximately 414.31 GWh of electricity during the first year of operation, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of 30,286 households. Pairing the energy storage system with the solar park will increase its efficiency and reliability by storing the electricity produced during periods of high solar output and delivering it to the grid during periods of peak demand.
NADBank Chief Environmental Officer Salvador Lopez Cordova noted that “the diversity of the projects approved today—wastewater collection, solar energy generation coupled with battery storage, and an international border crossing to reduce air emissions—reflect our commitment to financial innovation aimed at improving the environment and quality of life of the border region, as well as supporting its transition to a greener economy.”
The NADBank Board of Directors met in a hybrid format with more than 120 people registered to attend in person or online.