The EBRD has agreed a new loan of €15 million for Bulgaria’s United Bulgarian Bank for on-lending to private industrial companies in Bulgaria to finance energy efficiency and small renewable energy projects.
The loan to United Bulgarian Bank 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 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, James Hyslop, Director for Bulgaria, said that over the last few years the Bank has played a significant role in supporting Bulgaria’s efforts to reduce energy intensity. With this credit line being developed as a targeted financial instrument to accelerate transition to a low-carbon economy, the Bank will continue to help Bulgarian enterprises to boost their competitiveness in this increasingly difficult economic environment.
“United Bulgarian Bank has been selected again by EBRD as a partner bank to the financing provided for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects”, said Stilian Vatev, Chief Executive Officer of UBB. “The experience we have as a result of our cooperation with EBRD in this area shows that the efficiency of these projects is very high and the benefits are not only for the sub-borrowers but for the development of the whole Bulgarian economy”, he added.
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.
United Bulgarian Bank, member of National Bank of Greece, is the third largest bank in Bulgaria with assets of above BGN 7.5 billion. UBB works with international partners for attracting funding for on-lending to SMEs in Bulgaria. Under the sustainable energy credit lines from EBRD, UBB has financed 41 projects with total loan size of EUR 28.5 million.
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 193 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.