Jun. 14—The San Antonio-based North American Development Bank's board last week approved financing for a $300 million green loan program and $156 million in wastewater management, mobility and renewable energy projects.
In response to a lack of adequate financing for rural borrowers or small towns, the board said it seeks to close the divide on environmental sustainability. The goal for the program is to increase financing for smaller green and environmental projects that would otherwise not have access to funding.
NADBank provides financing — including loans and some grants — to support development of environmental infrastructure in the southern United States and northern Mexico.
"We believe that our new Green Loan Program will help build a new market for the bank," said Calixto Mateos Hanel, managing director for NABBank, in areas "where access to financing for small-scale green projects is more challenging."
The bank will also finance three new projects, two of which are in Texas.
In Kinney County, 6 miles west of Brackettville, the bank will provide $65.7 million to build a 160-megawatt solar park and 40-megawatt, two-hour battery energy storage system.
And the city of McAllen will receive up to $63 million for the Anzalduas Land Port of Entry Expansion Project, which will include commercial vehicle inspection facilities to support the processing of vehicles going through Mission. The hope is that the additional capacity will decrease congestion, which causes greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
"International trade from Mexico to the United States is of vital importance to the state of Texas," McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos said in an announcement. The project "will help grow trade not only for the benefit of the United States and Mexico, but also Texas and the local economy."
Meanwhile, across the border in Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua, a grant for $11.5 million and a loan for up to $15.4 million will be used to replace the four large sewer mains on the city's northwestern side, where old piping is deteriorating. By replacing these systems, the city can stop the potential discharge of untreated wastewater into the Rio Grande.
"The diversity of the projects approved today," said Salvador Lopez Cordova, chief environmental officer for NADBank, "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."
Elena Bruess writes for the Express-News through Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. ReportforAmerica.org. email@example.com
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