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EBRD expands support for energy efficiency in Moldova

By Olga Rosca

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In response to high demand for energy efficiency loans the EBRD is extending a further €7 million to BC Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale SA for on-lending to private companies undertaking energy-saving measures and investing in renewable energy projects. A previous energy efficiency loan of €3 million to Mobiasbancă earlier this year has already been used.

The new loan comes under the Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility II (MoSEFF II), which provides loans to finance energy efficiency improvements in the private sector. The financing is complemented by EU grants to facilitate up to 20 per cent of the loan and to engage consultants to provide technical advice for energy-saving investments.

The EBRD financing will be used to help businesses invest in energy-efficient equipment, for example, to replace old production and heating equipment, rehabilitate and replace boilers, install meters and renovate thermal and electric energy distribution systems. It will also finance small-scale renewable energy projects such as solar water-heating systems, solar panel electricity systems, ventilation and conditioning systems, thermal insulation, gas boilers and biomass and biogas installations.

Octavian Costaș, Acting Head of the EBRD office in Chisinau, said: “We are very happy to top up our engagement in energy efficiency with another loan to Mobiasbancă. We are impressed with the response to the first loan earlier this year and see this as a strong foundation for further successful energy efficiency investments.”

More than 90 per cent dependent on energy imports, Moldova spends over 30 per cent of its import budget on energy. Such a high level of dependency, coupled with obsolete energy infrastructure and a waste of resources by end-users, makes Moldova one of the most energy-intensive countries in the region. On average, Moldovan companies use three times more energy to produce the same output as companies in the European Union.

Ridha Tekaia, President of Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale, commented: “I am glad to announce that our first MoSEFF loan signed earlier this year was a great success. We continue to receive further financing requests from Moldovan entrepreneurs, which is why we decided to negotiate an extension of our cooperation with the EBRD. The new €7 million facility will allow Mobiasbancă to support more energy efficiency investments by our clients. The development of this project is in line with the corporate social responsibility policies of Mobiasbancă and Groupe Société Générale.”

Mobiasbancă, a subsidiary of Groupe Société Générale SA, is Moldova’s sixth-largest commercial bank, serving over 87,000 active clients in the corporate, SME and retail sectors through a network of 53 branches.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. To date the Bank has signed over 100 investments in the country, covering the energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, and totalling almost €900 million. Investing in sustainable energy is one of the Bank’s top priorities in Moldova, where EBRD investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy have reached €100 million.

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