The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed its first green economy financing facility (GEFF) in Lebanon. The EBRD and Bank Audi, the largest bank in Lebanon, are joining forces for the expansion of renewables by providing $100 million each for green projects in Lebanon. This includes the first loan under the EBRD’s GEFF for the country.
Under the GEFF agreement with Bank Audi, the EBRD is providing a $90 million loan, to be complemented by $10 million in concessional funding from the Taiwan ICDF, for on-lending to private borrowers. The funds will be used for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach, a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.
The program addresses critical issues for Lebanon’s sustainable development, such as diversifying energy supply, reducing the use of limited natural resources such as energy and water, and improving energy efficiency, thus decreasing pollution levels, conserving resources and contributing to a better environment.
GEFF Lebanon will be supported by a team of specialized consultants including engineering, environmental, financial and marketing experts, who will offer Bank Audi and its clients direct support and advice throughout the green project lifecycle using best-in-class technology. The technical assistance package is supported by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
Earlier this year, the Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation (LCEC) issued a notice inviting Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the development of 300 MW of grid-connected solar projects with battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the country.
In September 2017, Lebanon joined the EBRD’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, which is currently the fastest-growing region of the EBRD’s operations.
The EBRD is a multilateral developmental investment bank which was set up in 1991 to support businesses in more than 30 countries from Europe and central Asia after the communist collapse in eastern Europe.
According to Mercom’s Solar Funding and M&A Tracker, in June 2018, the EBRD provided $32 million to Risen Energy, a Chinese solar manufacturer, for the construction of a 40 MW solar project in the Karaganda region, Kazakhstan. Also, in May 2018, Risen Energy signed a mandate letter with the EBRD for financing the construction of a 63 MW greenfield solar project in Kazakhstan. The financial details for this transaction were undisclosed.
Recently, EBRD announced that it will be financing the development of a 100 MW solar project in the Zhambyl region of southern Kazakhstan.
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Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.