Source: Beta | Wednesday, 03.07.2013.| 16:11
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EBRD launches Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Financing Facility II

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching the €75 million Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Financing Facility II (WeBSEFF II) to improve energy supply in the eligible countries, with investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The programme covers the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, the EBRD said in a release at its website.

WeBSEFF II is supported by €11.5 million in grant funds provided by the European Union for technical cooperation programmes and investment incentives for borrowers, who will benefit from consultation and advice such as free energy audits.

Eligible borrowers include private sector companies, energy service companies (ESCOs), municipalities and public building owners.

WeBSEFF II builds on the success of the fully committed Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Financing Facility I (WeBSEFF I), launched in April 2009.

A first loan under the framework is being provided to Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina in the amount of up to €5 million, to enable the borrower to deepen its sustainable energy financing activities in the country.

The president of the EBRD, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said: “The imperative to improve energy efficiency in the Western Balkans remains as strong as ever. Energy prices are increasing and it is expected that this trend will accelerate. Such energy price rises create an additional cost burden on businesses. Improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy is an effective response to this challenge.”

The release also reads that a significant potential for energy efficiency investments remains untapped in the Western Balkans region, while a number of barriers remain in the market.

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