MCALLEN, Texas – The City of McAllen will receive a loan for up to $63 million for the Anzalduas Land Port of Entry Expansion Project.

The loan was approved on Wednesday by the North American Development Bank (NADBank).

“I am extremely elated with this game changer loan to the City of McAllen since Anzalduas International Bridge is actually located in Mission, Texas,” Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. “This loan will impact the entire Rio Grande Valley region.”

Enrique Castro, a longtime leader within the Index Reynosa maquiladora trade association, said: “This investment at the Anzalduas International Bridge is something we really need, especially for commercial traffic,” Castro said. “In a few years the crossings will increase exponentially and the Pharr bridge will not be able to absorb it. New parks and warehousing also will be needed. A well-trained labor force is another important factor.”

NADBank Deputy Managing Director John Beckham said: “We expect that investing in improved mobility at ports of entry, such as the Anzalduas, will reduce wait times and improve air quality in communities that host them.”

NADBank is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border. 

The bank aims to develop environmentally and financially sustainable projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

NADBank says the loan to the City of McAllen will help with the construction of commercial vehicle inspection facilities to support the processing of loaded southbound and northbound vehicles at Anzalduas International Bridge.

“Opening additional capacity at an existing port of entry in the region will help relieve congestion at other area ports of entry that are currently experiencing crossing delays, resulting in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and criteria pollutants caused by commercial traffic,” NADBank said, in a news release. 

At its semi-annual meeting in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, the NADBank board also approved a $300-million green loan program and $156 million for three projects in wastewater management, mobility and renewable energy. Funding for Anzalduas International Bridge is part of the $156 million.

“These actions illustrate the Bank’s strategic direction to be at the forefront of climate investments for the communities it serves in the U.S.-Mexico border region,” NADBank said, in a news release.

The Green Loan Program is designed to finance environmental sustainability for small, rural and other borrowers with limited access to NADBank financing through loans to financial intermediaries.

Of the three new environmental infrastructure projects projects totaling $156 million – in wastewater management, mobility and renewable energy – two are in Texas and one in Chihuahua.

Green Loan program

NADBank points out that many small, rural and other borrowers in the border region lack access to adequate financing to invest in improving their environmental sustainability. To address this gap, its board approved the Green Loan Program with a financing commitment of up to $300 million.

The bank’s Green Loan Framework establishes eligibility requirements and expected environmental benefits of these projects.

“The goal of the program is to increase financing, with adequate terms and conditions, for smaller scale green projects that will generate real environmental benefits,” a NADBank news release states.

“Through this program, NADBank will provide financing to financial intermediaries that can then provide loans on the terms required under the green loan framework. The program will also support ESG capacity-building for smaller financial institutions.”

NADBank Managing Director Calixto Mateos Hanel, said: “Over the last few years, NADBank’s strategic direction has been sharpened to focus on sustainable investments that help develop the border region while combating and mitigating climate change, in coordination with public and private sector sponsors, no matter how big or small. We believe that our new Green Loan Program will help build a new market for the Bank, where access to financing for small-scale green projects is more challenging.”

Three new environmental infrastructure projects

The NADBank Board approved close to $156 million in financing to support three new projects, two in Texas—expansion of Anzalduas International Bridge and construction of a solar park and energy storage facility in Kinney County—along with improvements to the wastewater collection system in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

“NADBank is enthusiastic about moving forward with financing for all three projects,” said NADBank’s Beckham. 

NADBank Chief Environmental Officer Salvador Lopez Cordova said: “The diversity of the projects approved today—wastewater collection, solar energy generation coupled with battery storage, and an international border crossing to reduce air emissions—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.”

The NADBank Board of Directors met in a hybrid format with more than 100 people registered to attend in person or online.

Editor’s Note: The above news story was updated to include commentary from Enrique Castro of Index Reynosa.

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