EBRD expands energy efficiency financing for Romanian SMEs

By Olga Rosca

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing €15 million of new financing to Romania’s Banca Transilvania for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) investing in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable-energy projects of up to €1 million.

The loan comes under the EBRD’s Romania SME Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (RoSEFF), a key instrument for promoting more efficient use of energy as a means to cut bills and boost the competitiveness of SMEs. A total of €60 million has been previously provided to key Romanian banks participating in the programme.

The EBRD’s loan is supported by technical advice and financial incentives for SMEs financed with a grant from the European Union.

Signing the transaction in Bucharest, EBRD Fist Vice President Phil Bennett said: “As the economy is gradually recovering, this is a good time for Romanian SMEs to focus on how to become more competitive, cut energy consumption and reduce costs. We are very pleased to expand our engagement in energy efficiency with another loan to Banca Transilvania. We are impressed with the response to the first loan and are confident that the bank has a strong pipeline for further successful energy efficiency investments by SMEs.”

The EBRD’s first energy efficiency loan of €10 million to Banca Transilvania in 2012 has already been used. It enabled 34 Romanian SMEs to invest in improved energy efficiency. Energy savings over the lifetime of these investments are the equivalent of more than a year of all household electricity consumption in the city of Bucharest, while the carbon emission reductions achieved – almost 890,000 tonnes – is the equivalent of taking almost 280,000 cars off the road for one year.

Ömer Tetik, the CEO of Banca Transilvania added: “The agreement with the EBRD today brings multiple benefits: for the environment in terms of lower carbon emissions; for the economy, by means of improved industrial competitiveness; for our clients, who can make investments that bring tangible financial savings, either as lower energy bills through energy efficiency or as revenue stream from renewable energy; and, lastly, for Banca Transilvania, because we are able to provide financial support to profitable and technically viable investment projects.”

Banca Transilvania is the third-largest bank by assets in Romania and is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The EBRD holds a 15 per cent stake in the bank and is its largest shareholder.

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Romania. To date, the Bank has invested over €6.9 billion across 366 projects in the country. It has also mobilised over €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

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