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US$ 20 million financing to private Lebanese electricity provider BUTEC

By Nibal Zgheib

US$ 20 million financing to private Lebanese electricity provider BUTEC

EBRD loan and GEF facility to support investment programme

Lebanese companies and enterprises will benefit from better and more stable supply of electricity thanks to a US$ 20 million financial package extended by the EBRD to BUTEC Utility Services S.A.L. (BUS), a private electricity distribution service provider operating in the north of the country and a member of BUTEC Group.

The funding will consist of a US$ 18 million loan by the EBRD and a US$ 2 million concessional tranche by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in support of BUS’s far-reaching service contract for the 2018-21 period with state-owned utility company Electricité du Liban.

The package will support the upgrade and expansion of the electricity distribution network and the deployment of smart meters, directly addressing Lebanon’s urgent energy supply crisis by improving the reliability and efficiency of the distribution grid.

It will be part of a far-reaching investment programme which is not only expected to improve the quality and efficiency of the company’s services to its customers, among them some 520,000 households, but also to drastically reduce network losses and greenhouse gas emissions by 297 ktCO2/year.

BUS is one of four private electricity distribution services companies in Lebanon. It operates, maintains and rehabilitates the distribution network, collects electricity payments and manages meterings in its region.

Lebanon is part of the EBRD’s southern and eastern Mediterranean region which also includes Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza. In only six years, the EBRD has invested over €8 billion in 195 projects across the region, including five projects in Lebanon since September 2017.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in 1991 as a US$ 1 billion pilot programme at the World Bank to promote environmental sustainable development and cover the incremental costs associated with introducing global environmental benefits to local and regional projects. GEF is now a global partnership among 182 countries, international institutions, multilateral development banks, civil society organisations and the private sector. The EBRD has been a partner of GEF since 2004.

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