The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has helped 100 firms in Moldova to receive advice on improving the energy efficiency of their businesses. Funded by the government of Sweden, the special advice programme helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Moldova to work with local energy efficiency consultants to reduce energy use, improve resource efficiency and cut costs.
To date, a total of €759,000 has been allocated to support SMEs under the programme, which has involved 45 energy efficiency consulting companies. This milestone was announced at a dedicated press conference in Chisinau.
“The Swedish Government is committed to supporting the energy efficiency agenda in Moldova. Investments in energy efficiency can mean more business for many entrepreneurs in the SME sector, who can enjoy lower costs and increased competitiveness on European and Moldovan markets. Energy efficiency also means increased energy security. With lower consumption, it is easier to tackle dependence on external energy resources. This is crucial for Moldova. And energy efficiency means a greener world for us and our children. We all need to contribute to this challenge,” said the Swedish Ambassador to Moldova, HE Mrs Ingrid Tersman.
“We believe energy efficiency technologies represent a way to revitalise businesses and we have seen excellent results from the programme,” said Julia Otto, Head of the EBRD office in Chisinau. “On average, a year after receiving advice through the energy efficiency programme, 80 per cent of beneficiaries have reported reduced energy costs or consumption and 88 per cent have seen an increase in turnover. They have also attracted more than €6.9 million of investment dedicated to implementing energy efficient measures.”
Of the 100 enterprises to have benefited from the programme to date, almost half are in the agribusiness sector. 10 per cent specialise in retail or trade and the remainder are from a diverse range of industries, including construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, tourism, transport and other sectors.
The energy efficiency programme has also had a significant impact on development in rural areas, with over 60 per cent of beneficiary companies located outside of Moldova’s main cities.
In 2014, the EBRD will continue to provide advisory support for SMEs in Moldova, both in the field of energy efficiency and in other areas such as strategy, marketing, operations or ICT. International industry experts will also provide training sessions for energy efficiency consultants to share international best practice and experiences in their fields.
The energy efficiency programme was launched in 2009. It seeks to support the development of SMEs in Moldova, raise awareness of the benefits of energy-efficient technologies and financing instruments for the country’s SMEs, promote the efficient use of energy resources, and help businesses align their production processes with European Union standards.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. To date, the Bank has signed some 100 investments in the country for a cumulative amount of over €900 million and has provided support and advice to over 500 Moldovan SMEs. The EBRD is also pursuing intensive policy dialogue to tackle key transition challenges – in the transport, municipal infrastructure, energy and financial sectors – and to help create a business-friendly climate.