DME Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-run National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), is set to embark on its inaugural green bond issuance, as reported by international news agency Reuters, citing information from three bankers.

The company has initiated the process of appointing advisors and arrangers and has called for proposals to undertake this task, with a deadline for bids set on Feb. 22. DME Development aims to establish a green bond framework with the assistance of advisors and identify NHAI projects that align with sustainability goals for the utilization of the proceeds. This marks the first-ever green bond issuance by NHAI or any of its entities, and details regarding the size and terms of the issue will be finalized in the upcoming months after the selection of arrangers. NHAI has not yet responded to this development.

Established in August 2020, DME Development operates as a special-purpose vehicle dedicated to constructing the greenfield Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, spanning Delhi and the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Since its inception, DME Development has successfully raised 140.4 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) through bonds until December. Notably, India has witnessed 17 green bond issuances by various companies, aggregating 53.33 billion rupees, between 2017 and 2023, as per data available on the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s website.
Upon completion, the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be India’s longest expressway, spanning a distance of 1,386 km. It will significantly reduce the travel distance between Delhi and Mumbai by 12%, reducing it from 1,424 km to a more efficient 1,242 km. It will substantially reduce travel time from a full day to just 12 hours.

This extensive expressway covers six states – Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. It will seamlessly connect major urban centres such as Kota, Indore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Vadodara, and Surat.

It is expected to benefit 93 PM Gati Shakti economic nodes, 13 ports, 8 major airports, and 8 multi-modal logistics parks. Additionally, it will facilitate easy access to upcoming greenfield airports like Jewar Airport, Navi Mumbai Airport, and JNPT port. The expressway is expected to be fully opened by the end of this year.


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