Utility issues Ireland’s first green bond

Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has issuerd the country’s first corporate public green bond, which will generate €500 million for the development of a number of sustainable project investments, including renewable energy.

The bond matures in June 2030, with a 1.125% fixed-rate, and will also fund network connections for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the country’s onshore wind farms.

According to ESB, they have already received €4 billion in orders with the bond primarily being purchased by institutional investors from the continent, which has allowed the utility to price the bond at the comparatively low rate, its lowest to date for a senior bond.

The utility says its Green Bond Framework, under which the bond was issued has been reviewed by sustainability governance experts Sustainalytics, which ensured that the bond was in line with industry standards such as the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles.

ESB group finance director Pat Fenlon said: “Today ESB issued Ireland’s first corporate public green bond for €500m, the proceeds from which will be used to finance projects which will facilitate the transition to a low carbon energy future and help Ireland to meet its ambitious climate change targets, including having 70% of electricity produced from renewable sources by 2030.

“The interest shown by investors from right across Europe in this our first green bond demonstrates confidence in ESB’s investment programme to lead the transition to a low carbon energy future.”