EBRD and EU boost finance for energy efficiency in Kyrgyz Republic

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD and EU boost finance for energy efficiency in Kyrgyz Republic

Loan equivalent to US$ 3 million in local currency to KICB will support businesses and homeowners

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are stepping up their support to build a sustainable, green economy in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Bank is extending a loan equivalent to US$ 3 million in local currency to KICB, a leading bank in the country, to finance energy savings for businesses and residential homeowners under the Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF).

On average, the Kyrgyz Republic is about ten times more energy and carbon intensive than the EU. The use of energy- and resource-efficient technologies will help the country tackle some of its most pressing challenges, including increased energy needs and energy security.

The country’s energy supply currently depends to a large extent on imports of fossil fuels and on domestic hydropower, but hydropower resources do not offer a long-term solution as they face depletion due to melting glaciers.

KyrSEFF is a flagship project in the country. It consists of credit lines totalling US$55 million that the EBRD extends to local partner banks. These credit lines are supported with US$18 million of technical cooperation and grant funding from the EU to provide incentives for highly energy-efficient investments. The funds also support technical assistance for the assessment of optimal energy use and for new equipment or facilities.

Since 2013, the programme has helped more than 600 households and more than 50 businesses to save energy and financial expense. This has reduced harmful CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking almost 25,000 passenger cars off the road.

To support the Kyrgyz Republic’s transition to a green economy, KyrSEFF has also started to offer finance for projects that use water and other resources efficiently and sustainably. KICB will be the first local bank to extend this opportunity to its clients on a pilot basis.

“We are delighted to work with our partners KICB and the EU to support the Kyrgyz Republic’s transition to a greener economy,” said Neil McKain, EBRD Director for Central Asia. “The available finance and advice on energy efficiency measures will help to minimise energy costs, make firms more competitive and build a sustainable future for the country.”

To date, the EBRD has invested over €630 million in the Kyrgyz Republic, focusing on the development of the private sector as well as a programme to improve vital public services such as water and wastewater, electricity and transport.