PUB raises S$800m in inaugural green bond issuance

Proceeds from green bonds issued will finance projects to strengthen Singapore’s water security and sustainability.

PUB, Singapore’s national water agency has raised S$800 million through the issuance of its inaugural green bonds, marking a milestone in PUB’s long-term efforts to ensure a resilient and sustainable water supply amidst the challenges of climate change.

The 30-year Fixed Rate Green Notes received strong interest from investors and were about two times subscribed. The notes, which have a coupon of 3.433% per annum payable semi-annually, were issued on 31 Aug 2022 and will mature on 30 Aug 2052. Net proceeds of the notes will be used to fund planned and future eligible green projects under PUB’s Green Financing Framework1, such as deployment of floating solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on Singapore’s reservoirs to harness renewable energy and implementing decarbonisation solutions in their water plants.

PUB’s commitment to develop a greener water system

With climate change and projected increase in future water demand, there is greater imperative to ensure Singapore’s water system remains resilient and sustainable, while ensuring that the country manages their resources efficiently and mitigates their impact to the environment. Thus, PUB is actively pursuing initiatives on several fronts to reduce their carbon and waste footprint. For example, the agency is investing in technologies such as biomimetic membranes that can reduce the energy required for the desalination process, and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and removal technologies to remove carbon from their water treatment processes and the environment.

Goh Si Hou, CEO of PUB said: “Water resilience and sustainable development have always been integral to PUB’s mission. Our development projects are carefully planned, incorporating the considerations to ensure water resilience and environmental protection. Going forward, we are pioneering efforts to reduce carbon emissions from our operations through research and innovation, as well as adopting emerging technologies and new operating models. The issuance of green bonds will accelerate PUB’s goal of achieving a greener water system, and underscores our commitment to contribute to a sustainable future for Singapore.”

Clifford Lee, global head of fixed income at DBS, said: “PUB’s inaugural green bond further paves the way to build on the momentum of Singapore’s burgeoning green financing market. The strong reception proves healthy demand for sustainability-linked bond issuances from high-grade issuers out of Singapore. This is another important step towards the country’s ambitions of becoming the green finance capital of the region, pressing ahead with the transition of our economy to net zero by mid-century.”

Edmund Leong, head of group investment banking at UOB, said: “This 30-year green bond drew robust demand from institutional investors, allowing PUB to price S$800 million in benchmark size. Against the backdrop of volatile interest rates, underpinned by both inflation and recession fears, PUB was still able to extend its maturity profile into the 30-year tenor. This reflects fixed income investors’ preference for high quality assets, and it is testament to PUB’s credit standing in the bond market.”

DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB) were the joint lead managers and book runners for PUB’s inaugural green bond issuance.