The EBRD is helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Romania improve their energy efficiency with a newly launched €60 million programme to fund sustainable energy investments.
The funds will be channelled to Romania’s real economy, through local financial intermediaries, including banks and leasing companies.
The Romanian SME Sustainable Energy Financial Facility (RoSEFF) will help local companies maximise energy savings and improve their overall competitiveness, while contributing to a reduction in the country’s high energy intensity.
The EBRD is extending the first loan under RoSEFF, worth €20 million, to Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), Romania’s largest commercial bank and part of the Austrian Erste Group.
The proceeds of the loan will be used to finance SME investments in improving industrial operations and premises, replacing equipment, software, and general upgrading aimed at reducing final energy consumption or producing renewable energy on a small scale. Individual sub-loans are limited to €1 million and thus the focus is on smaller-scale investments.
Sub-borrowers undertaking energy efficiency investments will be reimbursed by up to 10 to 15 per cent of the sub-loan amount on the successful completion of the works. The size of the reimbursed grant will depend on the technology and the energy savings achieved as a result of the project.
“The EBRD has been a strong supporter of energy efficiency investments in Romania and we are delighted to launch this new facility that will be focused exclusively on the needs of small and medium companies. It will further increase the financial intermediation in Romania at a time when access to commercial funding remains limited and will help the Romanian economy reduce its energy intensity,” said Claudia Pendred, EBRD Director for Romania.
“We are glad that, through this partnership with the EBRD, we can enhance our support for the Romanian economy and increase Romania’s competitiveness. Investing in energy efficiency projects leads to reduced production costs, increased profits, increased competitiveness in world markets, sustainable energy and a better environment,” said Wolfgang Schoiswohl, Corporate Vice President of BCR.
The EBRD has a longstanding relationship with BCR having previously provided a number of loans for on-lending to local enterprises, including €30 million under the ongoing EU/EBRD Energy Efficiency Finance Facility framework. Since January 2008 BCR has supported 25 energy saving investment projects under this framework.
The implementation of RoSEFF is supported by a planned €12.05 million grant financing from the European Union. This funding will be used to support investment projects through technical assistance and reimbursement grants.
Since the beginning of its operations in Romania, the EBRD has committed over €5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy and mobilised additional investments in excess of €8 billion from other sources.
Since the launch of the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006, the Bank provided over €468 million for energy efficiency investments in Romania, with total project value of close to €1.8 billion.