The EBRD has agreed a new loan of €15 million for Bulgaria’s UniCredit Bulbank for on-lending to private industrial companies in Bulgaria to finance energy efficiency and small renewable energy projects.
The loan to UniCredit Bulbank is part of the second extension of the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Credit Line Framework to provide up to €55 million in credits to banks involved in lending for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Bulgaria.
The programme is complemented by grant funding from the Kozloduy International Decommissioning and Support Fund, which will be used for technical assistance to support project preparation and awareness raising activities, and for incentives to companies and banks that successfully implement projects.
These incentives will be based on the estimated level of energy savings or annual production of clean energy derived from renewable sources.
Reducing energy intensity is one of the main priorities of Bulgaria’s energy policy, together with ensuring the security of supply and the sustainable development of the energy sector.
In this context, Bulgaria has already set a national target for energy savings target of no less than 9% of domestic energy consumption over a period of 9 years up until 2016.
Signing the project, EBRD President Thomas Mirow said that this credit line is an important element of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan signed today with the government of Bulgaria. “It will further increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy at a time when market conditions remain difficult,” he said.
“With the funds from this credit line UniCredit Bulbank aims to encourage and support the energy responsible attitude and will promote the energy production from renewable energy sources, which has a lot of environmental and economic advantages”, said Levon Hampartzoumian, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank.
The EBRD is one of the largest investors in Bulgaria with some €1.7 billion committed to projects across the country. Working with its many partners, the Bank has mobilised more than €6.2 billion for projects in Bulgaria.
UniCredit Bulbank, member of the European UniCredit Group, is the biggest Bulgarian bank with assets of above BGN 11 billion. The bank serves over one million active clients through one of the widest banking networks in Bulgaria with more than 260 branches and offices in the country.
Over the last few years the Bank has played a significant role in supporting Bulgaria’s efforts to reduce energy intensity and has developed targeted financial instruments to accelerate transition to a low-carbon economy.
Three sustainable energy financing facilities designed as integrated packages of grants, loans and technical assistance have been launched in Bulgaria for the total approved amount of EUR 225 mil, of which already signed credit lines with banks for EUR 173 mil
- Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy Credit Line - EUR 155 million (industrial)
- EU/EBRD Energy Efficiency Finance Facility - EUR 20 million (industrial)
- Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line - EUR 50 million (residential)
Excellent results have been achieved so far with more than 130 investments of corporate clients and about 22.7 thousand projects of individuals financed under the three sustainable energy finance facilities in Bulgaria with project costs of EUR 206 million of which loans from credit lines for about EUR 125.5 mil; energy savings of more than 1 million megawatt hour and carbon emissions reduction of about 800,000 tons per year.