ADB $150 Million Loan to Improve Urban Transport in Western PRC's Xi'an City

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank is extending a $150 million loan to improve urban transport in Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province―one of the poorest and least developed provinces in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The ADB Board of Directors has approved the loan for the Xi’an Urban Road Network Improvement Project, which will finance investment in road improvements, pedestrian mobility and safety, multimodal interchange facilities, intelligent transport system (ITS), and low emissions fueling infrastructure. The project will bring health and environmental benefits to millions of its city dwellers through more convenient and safe transport options and create hundreds of jobs.

Xi’an, the provincial capital and economic and cultural center of Shaanxi Province, is one of the most important growth centers in the western region of the PRC. The city is expanding and developing rapidly. The urban population grew at an annual rate of about 2.5% during 2000-2009, and over 70% of its 8.4 million residents in 2009 were categorized as urban.

With this growth has come a rapid expansion of motor traffic, along with the urban transport problems this often brings. As a result, the city is experiencing worsening traffic congestion and associated issues such as poor air quality pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and road accidents. Xi’an is trying to address these problems by expanding its road network and transport infrastructure with its own financial resources and support from international financial institutions.

Building missing road links, bus priority corridors, and non-motorized transport lanes is a key goal of the ADB project. Safety equipment using advanced information technology will be introduced to support and enforce safety. The vehicle emission control system will be enhanced by improving the inspection program and air quality monitoring equipment.

“The project outcome will be an efficient, safe, and environmentally sustainable integrated urban transport system developed in Xi’an. This will support better transport access for all,” said James Leather, Principal Transport Specialist in ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department.

The total investment cost is estimated at $558.06 million. ADB’s loan from ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term, with a 5-year grace period, and interest determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility. The Xi’an Municipal Urban and Rural Construction Commission is the executing agency for the project which will run from 2011 to 2016.