The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contributing to the diversification of transport connections between Asia and Europe by providing a US$ 42 million (€38.71 million) loan to Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO), a state-owned shipping company in Azerbaijan.
ASCO will use the funds to expand its merchant fleet operations by purchasing two Handysize vessels to transport dry cargo in international waters, enhancing regional maritime connectivity and trade. The new vessels will support Azerbaijan’s drive to bolster the country’s position as a crucial link along the extended Middle Corridor route connecting Central Asia and South Caucasus with global markets.
EBRD will also support ASCO in improving its climate corporate governance and disclosure practices to better address decarbonisation challenges in the shipping sector and pave the way for ASCO’s first sustainability-linked financial instruments.
ASCO is one of the largest shipping companies in the region and plays an important role in maritime connectivity across this vital trade route.