EBRD and Aklease expand climate finance in Turkey

By Olga Rosca

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  • EBRD providing €25 million loan to Aklease
  • Funding under EU-backed TurSEFF III expand local enterprises’ access to climate finance
  • Energy efficiency and climate resilience technologies in focus

Reinforcing its commitment to expanding climate finance in economies where it invests, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing €25 million in new funds to Ak Finansal Kiralama A.S. (Aklease) to finance green investments by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey.

Aklease is a leasing subsidiary of Akbank and the fifth largest leasing company in terms of net leasing receivables.

The EBRD loan will enable the companyto provide funding to eligible private-sector companies for  investments in energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste minimisation and small-scale renewable energy.

The loan was signed by EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions Francis Malige and Aklease General Manager Çetin Düz on the sidelines of the EBRD 2021 Annual Meeting and Business Forum.

Mr Malige said: “Leasing is an important tool to finance businesses and is especially popular for the purchase and use of equipment and vehicles. Together with Aklease, we want to encourage smaller enterprises to invest in greener and more climate-friendly solutions. As the recovery of the Turkish economy is gathering pace, now is the time to commit to sustainable, post-pandemic growth.”

Mr Düz added: “We no longer finance coal-fuelled thermal power plants and coal mining investments. Aklease is a strong believer in climate finance and encourages customers to pursue green investments. As we transform our environmental, social and governance culture, we have implemented ECOLease, the first leasing-sector product focused on renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency. In 2020, between 70 and 75 per cent of our investments were in sustainable energy. We are extremely proud of this and continue on the green path. The loan agreement with the EBRD is a strong indicator of this direction.”

The loan is extended under the third phase of the Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF) backed by the European Union and with funds from the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance. Launched in 2010, the credit line has provided €694 million to finance more than 2,000 projects to date, helping to install 595 MW of renewable energy capacity in the country.

In Turkey, the EBRD is a major institutional investor and to date has invested almost €13.5 billion in the economy through 341 projects, with 96 per cent of these in the private sector. In 2021, the Bank’s investments will support the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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