The first awards ceremony for achievements in sustainable energy has been held in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, for work carried out under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF).
KyrSEFF is the Bank’s financing mechanism for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, supported by grant financing from the European Union’s (EU) Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA). The mechanism allows funds to be channelled to firms and households via local financial system. The awards ceremony on 19 November, which is expected to become an annual event, celebrated the most successful projects in terms of energy efficiency and their contribution to the preservation of the environment.
Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), Demirbank, Bank Bai-Tushum and FINCA were honoured at the awards as financial partners of the programme. Also among the 32 winners were industrial enterprises, the city of Tokmok and other entities.
The ceremony is the first event in the Kyrgyz Republic to honour the best investment projects in sustainable energy and is proof of the country’s progress in energy conservation. Thanks to the cooperation between KyrSEFF and its partner financial institutions many projects aimed at sustainable development have been successfully implemented in the country and created a great example for the local business community and population.
In the business sector, 30 projects were financed under KyrSEFF with a total value of over US$ 10 million. In the residential sector, more than 340 projects were supported with a total investment volume exceeding US$ 2.5 million. The combined total of grants approved in the two sectors was US$ 1,880,307.
All projects were implemented with free technical support from KyrSEFF engineers, who provided consulting input from project design through to full implementation. Through the modernisation of equipment, companies that invested in energy efficiency also increased their production capacity by 50 per cent, while cutting their energy consumption per unit of production by more than half. In addition, the expansion of production capacity has boosted employment by 30-50 per cent in the facilities concerned.
KyrSEFF has also played an important role in the development of the country’s agricultural sector. With loans and grants, KyrSEFF has supported several greenhouse projects, covering more than 20,000 square meters in the Chui, Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad regions.
In view of the current energy crisis in the Kyrgyz Republic, KyrSEFF funding has become very popular in the housing sector. Thanks to awareness-raising activities conducted by the KyrSEFF team, the number of residents seeking to improve their housing conditions is rising every day. These people are often encouraged by examples of private investments already made, through which residents have substantially reduced their energy bills and now live in a comfortable environment.
Head of Operations Section of the Delegation of the EU to the Kyrgyz Republic, Johannes Stenbaek-Madsen, said: “The European Union has recently emphasised the opportunities offered by ‘blending tools’ (mixed funding). The IFCA tool provides grant resources from the EU budget and combines these with loans from European financial institutions such as the EBRD. KyrSEFF is the first project in the Kyrgyz Republic to be implemented based on blended financial resources. It combines grants and other publicly available funding sources, such as loans. KyrSEFF is an example of the harmonisation of various types of financial assistance aimed at economic and social development. We hope that KyrSEFF projects will help the country achieve some of its strategic priorities in the energy sector.”
Head of the EBRD office in Bishkek, Larisa Manastirli, added: “By helping to improve the energy efficiency of enterprises in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Bank and its partner financial institutions not only help to reduce carbon emissions, but also to make the economy more competitive. The country depends on energy imports that are influenced by many external factors, and lower energy consumption improves energy security.”
During the ceremony the winners received honorary diplomas and trophies from KyrSEFF in four categories: “Best bank partner”; “Best projects in the residential and business sectors”; “Best supplier of energy-efficient materials and best installation company”; and “Best KyrSEFF partner”.
The KyrSEFF Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards 2014 brought together representatives of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, ministries and agencies, the donor community, embassies, the financial sector, business, media and the general public.
The Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF) is a US$ 20 million facility that was launched in the Kyrgyz Republic on 23 April 2013 and is one of the Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities (SEFFs) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). KyrSEFF financing includes grants of up to 10-35 per cent of project cost from the EU’s Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA). www.kyrseff.kg.
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