EBRD gives another EUR 15 million for energy efficiency

The EBRD is continuing to support private companies and housing associations in the Slovak Republic in their drive to improve energy efficiency with a EUR 15 million loan to Československá obchodná banka a.s. (ČSOB) to finance sustainable energy projects.

Extended under the Bank’s Slovakia Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (SlovSEFF), the loan will be used for on-lending in the industrial and residential sectors to finance efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Sub-borrowers undertaking sustainable energy investments will be eligible for an investment grant of up to 15% of the amount of the loan, upon completion of the works. In addition they will benefit from free technical assistance in assessing energy saving potential and project implementation. Grant financing of up to a total of EUR 15 million will be provided by the Bohunice International Decommissioning Support Fund for these purposes.

“The EBRD is pleased to team up with Československá obchodná banka in promoting the efficient use of energy in the industrial and residential sectors in Slovakia. The financing will be used to support the implementation of energy efficiency and small renewable energy projects that will help housing associations and companies reduce their energy intensity and improve efficiency”, said Zdenka Vicarova, Head of Bratislava resident office.

“Many residential houses in Slovakia are in need of maintenance upgrades and repairs are necessary to preserve their life. Modernisation projects can bring substantial energy savings. It is a priority for ČSOB to support such projects and we very much welcome the opportunity to use the SlovSEFF facility for the benefit of our clients”, said Branislav Straka, Member of Board and Head of Retail distibution, ČSOB.

SlovSEFF was launched in 2007 when the EBRD provided EUR 60 million via 4 local partner banks to encourage Slovak enterprises and housing associations to make better use of energy resources. Following the high demand for the funds, in 2010 the Bank extended the facility by additional EUR 90 million.

To-date the EBRD has financed over 350 sustainable energy projects in the residential and industrial sectors in Slovakia under the SlovSEFF.

Similar EBRD facilities are currently operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Overall the EBRD has committed over EUR 900 million to Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities in these countries.

Československá obchodná banka (ČSOB) is one of the most important players in the Slovak banking market. It is a universal bank providing services to all client segments, and, at the same time, it is a part of the broadest financial group in Slovakia – ČSOB Financial group. In July 2009 it strengthened its position by merging with ISTROBANKA. The Belgian KBC Bank is the parent company and the only shareholder of ČSOB. KBC Group belongs to the leading financial institutions in Belgium and in Central and Eastern Europe. Author: Ina Coretchi, EBRD

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