Opening remarks by Ashok Lavasa, ADB Vice President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships, at the Signing Ceremony of E Smart Bangkok Mass Rapid Transit E-Ferries Project, 27 April 2022

Khun Amorn Sapthaweekul, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Energy Absolute,
Mr. Takahiro Morita, Chief Representative of JICA,
Khun Rak Vorrakitpokatorn, Managing Director of Thai EXIM,
all my colleagues from ADB, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning and a warm welcome to you all.

On behalf of ADB, I am honored to join today’s signing ceremony for this electric ferry loan facility between E Smart, ADB, the Clean Technology Fund, JICA, and Thai EXIM.

In these challenging times, we have had to learn the digital way of doing things, but I have very much been looking forward to seeing and experiencing these e-ferries. And I’m delighted to be here today in person.

ADB is extremely proud to support E Smart and continue our close partnership with Energy Absolute (EA), following EA’s maiden Green Bond in 2019, and EA’s first Green Loan for renewable energy and electric vehicle charging network in 2021.

The 600 million Thai Baht loan signing we are celebrating today will support the first commercial-scale e-ferry fleet for mass rapid transit in Southeast Asia. This is a remarkable achievement for EA and Thailand, and will provide a modern, safe, and affordable river transport option for Bangkok’s commuters.

As we all know, decarbonization is the global challenge we face today to avert the worst impacts of climate change, and this challenge extends across all sectors. As in most countries, transport emissions are substantial contributors to Thailand’s greenhouse gases emissions. This project is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 19,000 tons of CO2 a year. And beyond that, the project will also help to reduce air, water, and noise pollution, and ease congestion.

We believe that EA’s e-ferry operation will demonstrate the potential for Thailand’s transition from conventional automotive transport to electric mobility. This idea is encapsulated perfectly in EA’s “Mission No Emissions” mantra.

And in this regard, ADB has a shared vision. We are scaling up our climate ambitions and aim to deploy a cumulative $100 billion between 2019 and 2030, with around $12 billion expected from our private sector operations.

We are pleased that in addition to an ADB direct loan, we were also able to mobilize a concessional climate loan from the Clean Technology Fund to support the viability and bankability of this project. Blended finance will be an important tool for ADB to support the cost of decarbonization in our developing member countries. And working together with clean energy leaders like EA will be critical if we are to successfully tackle climate change while promoting innovation and sustainable economic growth.

In this regard, I want to highly commend EA’s vision to build on your successful renewable energy business and develop an ecosystem around electrification and decarbonization of the transportation sector. From electric batteries and charging stations, to electric buses and ferries, your achievements have been remarkable.

Khun Amorn, Khun Vasu, the management and working teams at EA, E Smart, JICA, EXIM, and our team at ADB, I would like to extend our gratitude and compliment your contribution to this project over the past few challenging years. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone.

We look forward to strengthening our long-lasting partnership with EA to continue supporting your expansion and leadership in clean energy and electric mobility.

Thank you.


    Lavasa, Ashok
    Vice-President (Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships)