EBRD celebrates best sustainable energy projects in Turkey

By Olga Rosca

11 companies awarded for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy

In a ceremony in Istanbul today, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and partners have awarded the best energy efficiency and renewable energy projects financed in Turkey through the Mid-size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MidSEFF).

The EBRD-led programme, supported by the European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank, provides funds to Turkish banks in the form of loans and capital market instruments for on-lending to private sector companies to invest in more efficient use of energy. In response to high demand the EBRD is expanding the programme with an additional €500 million.

The awards ceremony recognised 11 companies for promoting energy efficiency and energy generation from renewable sources. Among the winners were sugar factory Konya Șeker, wind farms Edincik, Samurlu and Karadere, geothermal power plants Pamukören and Gümüşköy and hydroelectric power projects Koçlu and Saray.

Since MidSEFF was launched in 2011, 43 Turkish companies have received financing through seven local banks – Akbank, Denizbank, Finansbank, Garanti Bank, Isbank, Vakifbank and Yapı Kredi. All MidSEFF partner banks were also awarded as part of the ceremony for their continued commitment to financing sustainable energy projects.

Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said: “The EBRD has already provided close to €1.3 billion for sustainable energy investments through credit lines to Turkish banks, MidSEFF being one of them. Today we are celebrating MidSEFF’s achievements and at the same time announcing €500 million in new financing for the next generation of green projects.”

The expansion of the MidSEFF programme is supported by the EU and the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. It will continue to benefit renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in Turkey including solar, hydropower, wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency, as well as water saving and waste minimisation projects.

The EU is supporting the programme with a €6.8 million grant for technical assistance through its Instrument for Pre-Accession in close collaboration with the Turkish Treasury and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. This grant funding enables the EBRD to provide expert advice to its partner banks and to private sector companies seeking finance for their renewable energy and resource efficiency projects.

Investing in sustainable energy is a strategic priority for the EBRD in Turkey, as the country is working to meet growing demand for electricity and aims to diversify away from expensive imported fuel. Almost half of the Bank's total portfolio in Turkey is in sustainable energy and since 2009 the EBRD has invested about €3 billion in over 70 such projects, including two of the country’s largest wind farms – Bares and Rotor – and the largest geothermal power plant in Turkey (and second largest in Europe), Efeler.

The EBRD is also working closely with the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and has helped develop Turkey’s first National Renewable Energy Action Plan to attract more investment in renewable energy projects. It is currently working on a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan to help Turkish industry become less energy-intensive.

The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. To date, it has invested over €7 billion in the country through 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance.

In 2015, Turkey was the top destination for EBRD financing, with €1.9 billion invested that year alone.


The winners of the 2016 MidSEFF Sustainable Energy Awards are:

The Energy Efficiency Pioneer Award went to Konya Şeker, a sugar company, for implementing energy saving and waste-to-energy solutions at two of its plants. The first project under MidSEFF, it was financed through Akbank with a total loan amount of €8.8 million.

The Award for the First Biomass Plant went to the Mutlular Grup. With a €20.9 million loan from Denizbank and expert support provided through MidSEFF, Mutlular will be the country’s largest biomass power plant built to date.

Koçlu hydroelectric power plant, the largest hydropower plant financed under MidSEFF, received an award for the Successful Implementation and Certification of an Environment, Health and Safety Management System (ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001). The plant was built with a €43.9 million loan from Finansbank.

The Award for the Most Proactive Implementation of Environmental and Social Standards was shared by Samurlu and  Karadere wind power plants for adopting the highest environmental standards. The projects were financed through Garanti Bank, having received loans of €30.3 million and €6.7 million respectively.

The Award for Most Advanced Carbon Credit Project was collected by Rönesans Holding for the Sena hydroelectric power plant. This project benefited from additional carbon market support provided under MidSEFF and was subsequently registered under the Verified Carbon Standard. It now has over 20,000 carbon credits available for immediate sale. The project benefited from a loan of €24.7million from Garanti Bank.

The Largest CO2 Emission Reduction Project Award was given to the 56.4 MW Edincik wind power plant. This project also benefited from carbon market support under MidSEFF and is registered under the Gold Standard. Edincik received a €15 million loan from Isbank.

The Award for the Largest Geothermal Power Plant was taken by the Pamukören geothermal power plant whose effective stakeholder engagement stood out. It was financed with a €37.4million loan from Vakifbank.

The Award for Best Stakeholder Engagement was taken by the Saray hydroelectric power plant though for their close engagement with local residents in the Black Sea Region. The project was financed with a €14.9 million loan from Vakifbank.

The Highest Energy Saving Project Award was received by cement producer Göltaş A.Ş. The company is expected to reduce energy use by 75,000 MWh per year by producing electricity from waste-heat recovery and by installing a more efficient mill. Yapı Kredi provided a €30.7million loan for the project.  

The Best Outreach Project Award was taken by Gümüşköy geothermal power plant for capturing its CO2 emissions, using them in local greenhouses and selling them to industrial gas consumers. The plant was financed with a €15.9million loan from Yapikredi.