The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in a release on Wednesday that it was launching the new EUR 75 million Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Efficiency Facility II (WeBSEFF II), SeeNews has reported.
This facility aims to support efforts towards the improved use and conservation of energy in the region.
The framework is designed to provide credit lines to local banks in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia for on-lending to private and municipal borrowers for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, the EBRD said in a statement.
In the first phase, the WeBSEFF II is being launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia.
The first loans under the new framework are a 5.0 million euro loan to Bosnia's Raiffeisen Bank and a 20 million euro loan to Croatia's Zagrebacka Banka. Two further loans with two commercial banks for a total of 25 million euro are under preparation in Croatia alone.
WeBSEFF II is part of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Western Balkans, a joint initiative of the Western Balkans Investment Framework and the EBRD.
The new facility builds on the success of the 60 million euro WeBSEFF I, launched by the EBRD in 2009, under which 123 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, totalling 55 million euro of loans, have been financed to date, while eight banks across three countries have participated.