EBRD and Mobiasbanca help Moldovan businesses save energy and money

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is continuing to promote energy efficiency in Moldova with a new €3 million loan to Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale for on-lending to private companies undertaking energy-saving measures and investing in renewable energy projects. 

The EBRD financing will be used to help businesses invest in energy-efficient equipment, for example, to replace old production and heating equipment, rehabilitate and replace boilers, install meters and renovate thermal and electric energy distribution systems. It also aims to finance small-scale renewable energy projects such as solar water heating systems, solar panel electricity systems, ventilation and conditioning systems, thermal insulation, gas boilers and biomass and biogas installations.

Announcing the deal, Julia Otto, Head of the EBRD office in Chisinau, said: “We are particularly pleased to welcome Mobiasbanca to the group of our partner banks in Moldova financing energy efficiency. The financing that the EBRD provides via Mobiasbanca helps companies implement projects which save businesses both energy and money, making them more profitable and competitive. Moreover, EBRD financing is complemented by a grant funding from the EU, which eases the burden of the immediate costs of investments.”

More than 90 per cent dependent on energy imports, Moldova spends more than 30 per cent of its import budget on energy. Such a high level of energy dependency, coupled with the waste of resources at the end-user level and obsolete energy infrastructure, makes Moldova one of the most energy-intensive countries in the region. On average, Moldovan companies use three times more energy to produce the same output as companies in the European Union.

Speaking about the partnership, Ridha Tekaia, President of Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale, mentioned: “The EBRD became the partner of Mobiasbanca (MBSG) in 1996, being one of our first IFI partners. Since then, our mutual collaboration bore fruit – many facilities were successfully implemented in order to support SME and corporate clients, exporters – importers, trade finance and so on. One of the priorities of MBSG’s strategy is to become a reference bank for its clients, understanding their needs and necessities. I am pleased to inform you that today MBSG joins the Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MoSEFF II) launched by the EBRD to support energy efficiency investments in Moldovan enterprises. I hope that with the signing of this new agreement, MBSG is going to intensify the partnership with the EBRD and will support clients in their business development by offering innovative, appropriate and rewarding solutions.”

A subsidiary of Groupe Société Générale SA, Mobiasbanca is Moldova’s sixth-largest commercial bank, serving over 87,000 active clients in corporate, SME and retail sectors through a network of 46 branches. It is the most recent bank to join the EBRD partner banks financing sustainable energy projects in the country – a list that includes: Moldova-Agroindbank, Moldincondbank, Banca Comercială Română Chişinău and ProCreditBank.

The EBRD financing is extended to its partner banks within a dedicated framework – the Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MoSEFF II), which provides €22 million in loans for financing energy efficiency improvements in the private sector.

MoSEFF financing is complemented by EU grants to facilitate up to 20 per cent of the loan amount and to enable the EBRD to engage consultants to help banks and businesses with technical advice for energy-saving investments.

Since 2010, when the EBRD started financing energy efficiency in Moldova, a total of over €25 million has been committed through MoSEFF to the partner banks, helping 81 businesses to cut their energy bills and CO2 emissions. The resulting energy savings amount to 116, 338 MWh per year and could supply power to the residents of Chisinau’s centre district for half a year. These projects helped reduce CO2 emissions by 35,071 tonnes, equivalent to the emissions produced by over 25,000 cars.

The EBRD, one of the largest investors in Moldova, has to date signed over 90 investment projects in the country, covering energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, for a cumulative amount of over €700 million.