The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing €10 million in new financing to Romania’s UniCredit Tiriac Bank S.A. for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) investing in industrial energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects.
The loan is extended under the EBRD’s Romania SME Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (RoSEFF), a key instrument for promoting the rational use of energy, particularly given the current liberalisation of the domestic energy market, as a means to cut bills and boost the competitiveness of SMEs.
“There is substantial potential in Romania to achieve energy savings and the EBRD long-term loan helps reduce the number of barriers that the private sector still faces in obtaining financing for energy efficiency projects,” said Sylvia Gansser-Potts, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions, EU Banks.
“UniCredit Tiriac Bank’s commitment and track record in financing SMEs, combined with the EBRD’s proven experience in implementing energy efficiency programmes, provides a strong basis for success in this new partnership,” said Rasvan Radu, CEO of UniCredit Tiriac Bank.
Along with technical assistance and investment incentives financed by the European Union, the EBRD loan comes at a time when the Romanian private sector faces an even greater need for long-term financing, affected as it is by the eurozone crisis and the scarcity of funding.
The €10 million loan comes under the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe launched in November 2012 by the EBRD, the European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group) and the World Bank Group. The plan is a direct response to the continuing impact of eurozone problems on the economies of emerging Europe and includes total commitments of €30 billion over the period 2013-14.
To date, the EBRD has invested approximately €6.3 billion in projects across Romania, mobilising over €13 billion of further financing for these ventures from other sources.
Since the launch of the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006, the Bank has provided over €645 million for sustainable energy investments in Romania, with a total project value approaching €3.9 billion.