In its drive to promote energy savings and renewable energy solutions in Serbia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is honouring companies that have substantially cut their energy costs, enhanced their production and become more competitive.
On 2 October 2012, in an award ceremony that attracted representatives of the business and political communities in Belgrade, the Bank named the six best projects financed under the Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (WeBSEFF).
The winners represent a range of sectors and investments: from sugar refineries to steel works and mountain resorts; and from production lines to biomass boilers and geothermal energy systems. All served to demonstrate that investments that save energy increase competitiveness in a variety of ways, including reduced operational and maintenance costs and more efficient use of raw materials.
The overall winner of the energy efficiency prize is Fabrika Secera Crvenka – a sugar refinery whose EUR 2 million investment resulted in savings that repaid the loan in less than a year while greatly enhancing the company’s competitiveness and production capacity.
Other winners are the jam factory Wood Master for best renewable energy investment; and furniture factory Termal Inzenjering whose project demonstrated the best ‘value added’ beyond energy savings and the payback period. There were also subcategories for best project in the manufacturing, food processing and building efficiency sectors, which were won by Stublina, Martis Commerc and MK Mountain Resort respectively.
Local partner banks Banca Intesa, Societe Generale Bank and UniCredit Bank also received awards in recognition of the significant role they played.
Speaking at the event, Ian Brown, EBRD's Acting Director for Serbia, said: "Improving energy efficiency is a key focus for the EBRD in Serbia. In these awards today we have seen how Serbian companies can cut costs, reduce emissions, and become more competitive. We warmly congratulate not only the winners, but all the companies and partner banks who are involved.”
WeBSEFF has similar programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia and has funded projects in the region which have achieved total energy savings of 500 GWh per year – equivalent to the energy consumption of a city like Krusevac. Total CO2 savings as a result of WeBSEFF implementation stand at 123,006 tonnes per year.
WeBSEFF is supported by a technical assistance package financed by the European Union and the multi-donor European Western Balkans Joint Fund (EWBJF).