EBRD and EU celebrate Romanian firms’ use of energy efficiency and renewable energy

By Olga Rosca

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15 Romanian companies awarded for promoting sustainable energy
A cereal grower, a car-servicing company, a manufacturer of antique-style furniture, a fruit and vegetable processor, several bakeries, a paper producer, and south-eastern Europe’s largest oil and gas producer are among the 15 Romanian companies honoured by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) for promoting energy efficiency.
The EU-EBRD Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards, held in Bucharest today, recognised Romania’s most successful sustainable energy projects financed by the EBRD and the EU.
“We are celebrating Romanian companies which have demonstrated time and again that investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy can bring economic, environmental, energy security and social benefits to Romania,” said James Hyslop, EBRD Director for Romania. 
“Economic benefits arrive in the form of lower utility costs for investors; environmental benefits in the form of lower CO2 emissions; security of energy supply through lower energy demand, or by meeting demand with local renewable energy resources; and social benefits in the form of jobs in the growing sustainable energy sector,” he added.
To promote sustainable energy in the private sector, the EBRD and the EU have teamed up with Romanian banks to provide finance and advice to companies investing in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable-energy projects.
Banca Comercială Română (BCR), BRD Groupe Société Générale, Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank, OTP Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and UniCredit Ţiriac Bank have all been part of the EBRD and EU’s joint programmes financing sustainable energy in Romania.
Finance for energy efficiency in the private sector is currently available at Banca Comercială Română (BCR), BRD Groupe Société Générale, Banca Transilvania and UniCredit Ţiriac Bank under the EU-EBRD Romania SME Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (RoSEFF), a key instrument for promoting the efficient use of energy to cut bills and boost the competitiveness of SMEs.
So far, banks have on-lent €112 million of EBRD finance to almost 300 companies for financing energy efficiency improvements with a combined value of €156 million. The finance is supported by technical advice and financial incentives for SMEs funded with an EU grant.
These projects led to annual energy and CO2 savings of 1,786 GWh, the equivalent of the household electricity consumption of the city of Bucharest for an entire year, or 394 thousand tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking 123,690 passenger cars off the roads for a year.
The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Romania. In 2014 alone, the Bank invested €600 million in the country. To date, the EBRD has invested over €7 billion across 370 projects in Romania. It has also mobilised more than €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.
The winners of the EU-EBRD Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards 2015 are:
  • The Green Award for energy efficiency in agriculture went to cereal grower SC Comcereal SA, Focşani, Vrancea, which invested €2.4 million in its bakery, new agricultural machinery and a diesel-fired cereal dryer with a wood-fired system.  Finance was provided through BCR and BRD Groupe Société Générale. 
  • The Bright Ideas Award for intelligent investments in sustainable energy went to fruit and vegetable processor SC Alex Star SRL, Curtea de Argeș. With a €65,500 loan from UniCredit Ţiriac Bank the company added a new autoclave to a fruit and vegetable sterilisation line, cutting down energy consumption by 34 per cent.
  • The Tasty Investment Award for sustainable energy investment in the food and drink sector went to SC Agropan Impex SRL, Iaşi, a bakery which used a €232,000 loan through OTP Bank to upgrade its equipment. It saved 40 per cent of energy per kilogram of baked products.
  • The Heavy Metal Award for sustainable energy investment in the heavy industry and metallurgy sectors went to SC STC Invest SRL, an ironware manufacturer from Hereclean, Sălaj, which cut energy consumption by 86 per cent at its painting line using a €98,000 loan through Banca Transilvania.
  • The Movers and Shakers Award for investment in energy-efficient lifting, handling and mixing equipment went to SC Auto Europa SA, a vehicle-servicing firm from Râmnicu Vâlcea, that used a €26,000 loan via CEC Bank to replace car elevators and air compressors and reduced electricity consumption by 47 per cent.
  • The Fantastic Plastic Award for sustainable energy investment in the plastic sector was won by SC Electroargeş SA, a producer of electrical appliances and power tools based in Curtea de Argeş. The company benefited from a €700,000 loan through BCR. It invested in upgrading eight plastic injection machines, cutting electricity consumption by 59 per cent per tonne of products.
  • The Producers' Awards for sustainable energy by industrial production companies went to:
  • SC Corom Export SRL, a manufacturer of wooden furniture from Dăești, Vâlcea. The company invested €303,000 – a loan received via UniCredit Ţiriac Bank – and achieved 54 per cent energy savings by upgrading woodworking machinery and a humidification system.
  • SC Norada SA, a menswear manufacturer from Odorheiu-Secuiesc, Harghita, which replaced sewing and pressing equipment, thanks to a €182,000 loan via Raiffeisen Bank. The investment resulted in 56 per cent energy savings.
  • The Renewable Energy Award was offered to plastics producer SC Diaplast Production SRL, from Mărăcineni, Argeș County. The company installed a 100 kW photovoltaic system on its roof, introduced a LED lighting system and replaced five air compressors, thereby combining both energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. The project was financed with a €169,000 loan via BCR.
  • Three Trail Blazer Awards for leading the way by investing in sustainable energy went to:
  • ­SC Luxten Lighting SA and the City of Bucharest for installing energy-efficient lighting systems in the Dorobanţi area. This was the first deal to be financed using the EU-EBRD Municipal Finance Facility for Energy Efficiency (MFFEE), an experimental facility piloted in Romania by the EBRD together with BRD Groupe Société Générale.
  • SC Palrom Products SRL, Brad, Hunedoara, a lumber and wood-processing company, which replaced 30-year-old cutting and splitting machines with a new processing line, lowering specific electricity use by 81 per cent. This was the first RoSEFF leasing investment, financed using Banca Transilvania's RoSEFF facility by BT Leasing.
  • SC Welthaus SRL, Zalău, Sălaj, a manufacturer of energy-efficient sealed double-glazed windows and doors and the first company to take a RoSEFF business expansion loan for a manufacturer of energy efficiency products, financed with a credit of €183,000 from Banca Transilvania.
  • The Leadership Award for sustainable energy investment by a company with a female CEO went to Mariana Turcin, of Spicul Turcin from Păuliș, Arad County. The company lowered CO2 emissions by 43 per cent by investing in energy efficient tractors and a cereal dryer, using a €602,000 loan via BRD Groupe Société Générale.
  • Two Special Awards for extraordinary investments in Sustainable Energy were awarded to:
  • SC OMV Petrom Marketing SA, which installed LED lighting at 322 filling stations, resulting in electricity savings of 53 per cent, using a €2.1 million loan through Raiffeisen Bank.
  • Pulp and paper producer SC Romwelle PM SA, from Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Mehedinți, which used a €3 million euro loan through Banca Transilvania to renovate its factory using energy-efficient equipment. It has also eliminated the use of heavy fuel oil. As a result of these investments the company’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 93 per cent.
  • The EBRD also awarded Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards to all seven partner banks, in recognition of their work in bringing sustainable energy financing opportunities to their customers.
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