Bulgaria’s CIBANK receives EBRD support for sustainable energy investments

By Axel  Reiserer

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Bulgaria’s CIBANK is reinforcing its efforts to support energy investments in the country with the assistance of a €2 million loan provided by the EBRD. CIBANK will use the funds to extend loans to individuals, households and associations of apartment owners for energy efficiency investments.

The loan comes under the Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line (REECL) – an EBRD programme developed to support Bulgarian residents undertaking energy efficiency investments. The first REECL framework was launched in 2005, with loans of €50 million to Bulgarian banks, and was then expanded with a further €40 million in loans in 2011.

CIBANK – a part of Belgium’s KBC Group – received the first loan of €5 million under the programme in March 2012, which it on-lent to 3,400 Bulgarian households. The new €2 million facility will again be used to address the huge pent-up demand for energy efficiency improvements in Bulgaria.

More than 42,000 small-scale residential energy efficiency projects have been implemented using REECL resources. These projects have resulted in electricity savings equivalent to 186,000 MWh per year. Energy-saving measures funded by the credit line include replacing windows, insulating exterior walls and roofs, and installing heat pumps, solar thermal collectors and high-efficiency gas and biomass boilers. The EBRD credit line is complemented by grant funding from the Kozloduy International Decommissioning and Support Fund (KIDSF).

Daniel Berg, EBRD Director, Bulgaria, said: “We are extremely pleased to extend this loan to CIBANK, which has shown impressive commitment to the support of energy efficiency for residential users. Especially in light of today’s challenging circumstances, it is very welcome to see continuing determination to help Bulgarian citizens meet energy efficiency objectives, in using energy more effectively and improving their quality of life.”

Peter Andronov, Country Manager of KBC Group for Bulgaria and CEO of CIBANK, added: “This new agreement is an expression of our sustainable partnership with the EBRD and evidence for the effectiveness of this financial mechanism to support energy efficiency at home.”

To date, the EBRD has financed over 200 projects in Bulgaria, with a total volume of more than €8.5 billion. The Bank is focused on strengthening sustainable growth in the country through a focus on enhancing local business competitiveness and investing in the modernisation of the country’s real economy and infrastructure.

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