EBRD loan to promote energy efficiency in FYR Macedonia

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

The EBRD is continuing to support investments in energy efficiency in Western Balkans with a €4 million loan to the Macedonian bank, NLB Tutunska Banka.

The EBRD loan will be used for on-lending to the private sector for investments in industrial energy efficiency, energy efficiency in commercial buildings and small renewable energy production.

A recent market demand study for the Western Balkans identified FYR Macedonia as one of the priority countries for financing under the credit facility. The study concluded that there was a big potential for energy efficiency improvements in the country but insufficient access to long-term financing was proving to be a major barrier standing in the way of improvements.

The loan is being provided under the Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Credit Line Facility (“WeBSECLF*”).

NLB Tutunska Banka is one of the three largest Macedonian banks, with an extensive national branch network and reputation that will help distribute the EBRD financing throughout the country. The loan will allow NLB Tutunska Banka to meet increasing demand for longer-term financing from local private companies.

The EBRD loan will be supported by grant funding from the European Commission that will help with the preparation and implementation of projects.

‘We are pleased to announce this credit line to our long term partner NLB Tutunska Banka, which will further diversify its portfolio of lending products. At the same time, it demonstrates EBRD’s continuous commitment to support Macedonian businesses through improving the access to finance and providing assistance in developing new products for specific areas, such as Energy Efficiency", said Francis Malige, EBRD Director.

“Financing projects for energy efficiency improvements, in which NLB Tutunska Banka is involved, is a global trend and, at the moment, one of the most popular topics. Limited energy resources, which in the past years led to increased energy prices, impose the necessity for financing energy efficiency projects and projects for renewable energy production. We are particularly glad to enter this project along with EBRD, our long-term partner with whom we already realised several successful projects in  FYR Macedonia” – said Mr. Gjorgji Janchevski, President of the Management Board of NLB Tutunska Banka.

Since the beginning of its operations in FYR Macedonia, the EBRD has committed more than €510 million in over 40 projects in key sectors of country’s economy, mobilising addition investment worth more than €620 million.

*EU/EBRD Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Credit Line Facility is a joint programme of the EBRD and the European Commission to provide up to €60 million in loans to banks involved in lending for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, and Montenegro.