The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has stepped up its support for energy efficiency investments in Belarus, with its third loan agreement under a new financing facility that was launched in the country earlier this year.
The latest funding is a loan of €10 million to Bank BelVEB OJSC for on-lending to private companies investing in sustainable energy projects.
The loan comes within the framework of the €50 million Belarus Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (BelSEFF), which was launched in Minsk, in February 2013.
Funding under the five-year loan to BelVEB will be earmarked for investments to improve energy efficiency and promote greater use of renewable energy resources.
BelVEB was a strong candidate for lending under the new programme because of its strong presence across Belarus and its lively appetite for sustainable energy lending.
“We are very happy to be working together with BelVEB in our drive to help roll out energy efficiency investments across Belarus,” said Francis Delaey – Head of EBRD’s Resident Office in Belarus – at a signing ceremony today.
In addition to EBRD funding, companies will be able to benefit from free technical support funded by the Czech Republic, which will help them choose and carry out their energy efficiency projects.
Energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources is important in Belarus, where the consumption of energy, as measured against GDP, is 2.5 times higher than the EU average, and where imports account for 80 per cent of energy consumption.
The EBRD launched its Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006, and has since invested over €11 billion in more than 600 projects across all of its countries of operations.