Yapi Kredi to finance sustainable energy with EBRD loan

By Olga Rosca

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Yapi Kredi bank has joined a group of Turkish lenders that are financing sustainable energy projects in the private sector with the help from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A new US$ 80 million loan, from the EBRD to Yapi Kredi, aims to further promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments among Turkey’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The loan is provided under the EBRD’s Turkish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF) – a dedicated finance facility aimed at supporting Turkey’s long-term energy strategy. Launched in July 2010, the US$ 284.2 million TurSEFF, supported by an EU grant, was extended by another US$ 265 million in early 2013 to meet the growing demand for business energy efficiency and renewable energy investment among Turkey’s SMEs.

“The EBRD makes financing more accessible for businesses that want to invest in new technologies, helping them save energy and cut bills,” said Francis Malige, the EBRD’s Director for Financial Institutions in Turkey and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. “We are particularly delighted to welcome Yapi Kredi as a new party to this joint effort of helping Turkey become a low-carbon economy,” he added.

Greater energy efficiency for Turkey’s SMEs will help the country – which is dependent on costly imported fossil fuels – enhance its energy security by moving it closer to its energy targets of reducing CO2 emissions and increasing the proportion of renewables in its energy mix.

Yapi Kredi CEO, Faik Acikalin, said: “At Yapi Kredi, we believe that SMEs are the engine of economic growth. We all know that access to finance is one of the key challenges for SMEs. We are also aware that nowadays sustainability is a success factor and its weight will be increasingly important in the future. We think Turkish SMEs should profit from this competitive conjuncture to become global players. The current loan from EBRD is geared towards financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects of Turkish SMEs, and the Turkish economy will also take advantage of it in the long run. At Yapi Kredi, we pay great importance to SMEs and are always happy to be able to provide the support they need.”

Yapi Kredi – the fourth-largest private bank in Turkey by total assets – is the latest lender to collaborate with the EBRD in financing energy efficiency, bringing the number of TurSEFF’s partner banks to six.

Since 2010 approximately 90 per cent of TurSEFF funds have been on-lent, to a total of 363 SMEs, while more than 50,000 individual households in Turkey have benefited from energy-efficient heating and cooling technology through vendor finance schemes financed under the TurSEFF umbrella.

The first phase of TurSEFF achieved energy savings representing 234,000 tonnes of oil equivalent every year, or six GWh of electricity per annum for every US$ 1 million invested; which translates into annual savings in oil imports of some US$ 147 million. The projects financed have resulted in a total reduction of 686,000 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.

Sustainable energy is a key priority of the EBRD in Turkey. To date the Bank has invested more than €1.2 billion in Turkey’s sustainable energy – almost half of its total portfolio in the country. Since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested more than €3.0 billion in the country, both in direct deals and through credit lines. Last year Turkey became the EBRD’s second-largest country of operations, with €1 billion in new investments in 2012 alone.

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