€59m for energy efficiency projects in Romania

The EBRD is launching its first ever credit facility to finance energy efficiency projects by private industrial companies in Romania. Under the new framework, the Bank will make loans to the banking sector which will then provide credits to private firms. Three loans have already been signed: €20 million for the Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), €10 million for CEC and €5 million for Banca Transilvania (BT). The loans are part of the EU/EBRD Energy Efficiency Facility which is a wider joint programme of the European Commission and the EBRD to provide up to €100 million in credits to banks involved in lending for energy efficiency projects in Bulgaria and Romania.

Introducing energy efficiency to Romanian businesses is intended to help mitigate the impact of climate change. The programme is complemented by €24 million of EU grant funding from the Phare programme*, which will be used for technical assistance to support energy efficiency projects and for incentives to kick-start investments.

The facility aims to encourage enterprises to make better use of energy resources and assist in mitigating the impact of increasing energy prices and reducing the high energy intensity of Romanian industry by introducing energy efficiency measures. By reducing the energy wastage in Romania, the project will help the country meet its obligations as an EU member state. The EBRD aims to help participating banks build up expertise in this area by combining its energy efficiency mandate and tailored technical consultant services within a commercially viable framework.

The loans are expected to support Romania’s efforts to overcome obstacles to investment in energy efficiency projects that persist in the country. The Romanian government has already undertaken several key measures to improve energy efficiency and lowering the carbon intensity of the economy.

Nicolae Idu, Head of the Representation of the European Commission to Romania, welcomed the excellent co-operation between the EU and the EBRD for the benefit of the new EU members which dates back to 1999, when the first EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility was granted under a similar framework. “This time we are launching a new product for energy efficiency and the value of enhancing the existing co-operation is high,” Mr. Idu added.

Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD Director for Bank Relationships, said that this facility is an important element of the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Initiative as it will further increase investments in energy efficiency. We are delighted that BCR, CEC and BT continue to be our strategic partners by joining the EBRD and the EU in promoting energy efficiency initiatives in Romania, he added.

Manfred Wimmer, CEO of Banca Comerciala Romana SA, part of the Erste Group, said that BCR has been a long-term key partner for many of EBRD’s pioneer projects in Romania, for the benefit of the Romanian companies and of the Romanian economic growth. “Energy saving is of particular interest for BCR and the Erste Group as it benefits the environment and general welfare, two of our main objectives we are focusing on as a responsible partner of the communities”, Mr. Wimmer stated.

Radu Gratian Ghetea, President and CEO of CEC, said that energy efficiency will become the new strategic direction for CEC in the context of its modernization. CEC will implement this new facility in addition to the two already existing facilities for SMEs and rural businesses. “The co-operation with the EBRD in the energy saving sector is a key strategic orientation for CEC and we will continue with our efforts to enhance it,” Mr. Ghetea added.

Robert C. Rekkers, CEO of Banca Transilvania, said the new facility will boost BT’s efforts to consolidate its position as a market leader in Romania and in the region. “The EBRD is not only a key shareholder, but also a continuous source of innovative and creative financing to help us reach out to new clients. The new facility for energy efficiency is part of our strategy for the coming years,” Mr. Rekkers added.

Energy efficiency is a key priority for the EBRD. The new EU/EBRD facility for Romania is expected to replicate the successes already achieved with similar arrangements in neighboring Bulgaria, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Banca Comerciala Romana, CEC and Banca Transilvania are leading commercial banks in Romania.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Romania, with €3.5 billion committed to 248 projects across the country. Working with its many partners, the Bank has mobilized more than €6 billion for projects in Romania.

The Phare programme is the main channel for the EU’s financial and technical cooperation with accession countries.

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