UniCredit Bank d.d. Mostar joins energy efficiency drive

By Axel  Reiserer

UniCredit Bank d.d. Mostar is joining the new Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Efficiency Facility II (WeBSEFF II) with a loan of up to €10 million provided by the EBRD. The funds will be on-lent to private and municipal borrowers for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.

WeBSEFF II has a total loan volume of €75 million provided by the EBRD and is further supported by €11.5 million in grant funds provided by the European Union for technical cooperation programmes and investment incentives for borrowers, who will benefit from consultation and advice, such as free energy audits.

The programme covers the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Significant potential for energy efficiency investments remains untapped in the region, while a number of barriers remain in the market. The structure of WeBSEFF II has been designed to address those barriers, maximise the energy-saving potential of the programme, open up new markets and ensure that scarce grant resources are allocated in a more efficient and effective way.

Libor Krkoska, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Sarajevo, said: “We are proud of UniCredit Bank Mostar joining the new facility because the strong market presence and outreach of the bank will provide a significant boost to energy efficiency lending. This represents an important step forward in increasing activities in this field in the country. At the same time this engagement will widen the product portfolio that UniCredit Bank Mostar can offer its customers, thus strengthening its competitive position.”

Ivan Vlaho, CEO of UniCredit Bank Mostar added: “We are pleased to continue the successful cooperation with the EBRD in improving energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy projects in our country. By participating in the first phase of the EBRD’s WeBSEFF I credit line we have significantly helped companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to reduce their energy costs, increase production and become more competitive in the market, which is why last year we received the EBRD award for supporting sustainable energy efficiency projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UniCredit Bank is dedicated to the development of local communities and improving the quality of life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a special focus on supporting environmental projects. We recognise the importance and the development potential of energy efficiency and renewables and we are delighted to have the opportunity to again support projects in this area through our continued joint cooperation under WeBSEFF II.”

WeBSEFF II builds on the success of the €60 million WeBSEFF I, launched in 2009, under which 123 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, totalling €55 million of loans, have been financed to date, while eight banks across three countries have participated. In Bosnia and Herzegovina 55 projects were supported, to a total amount of €15 million. The EU has provided grant financing to the framework.