The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Ministry of Finance of Armenia and the Municipality of Yerevan city have signed an agreement to allocate a co-financing grant of €1.9 million to support the modernisation of street lighting in the city of Yerevan.
The grant is provided by the E5P fund (Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership) which is managed by the EBRD and pools donor contributions from the European Union and a number of donor countries including Armenia, according to EBRD.
In May 2015, the EBRD committed a €3.7 million loan to modernise Yerevan’s street lighting system by introducing new energy-efficient technologies that will benefit the city’s residents. The grant will now help to make the lighting more efficient and environmentally friendly.
The current street lighting network of Yerevan consists of old, inefficient and environmentally polluting mercury-based lights. The heavy-metal based content of the current lighting system contributes to energy waste and is a considerable environmental hazard. Due to the antiquated condition of the current system and the high percentage of lights that are not working, large parts of the city are not sufficiently illuminated.
The project will help to introduce new energy-efficient LED lighting, a control and monitoring system, pole replacement and renovation as well as power cable replacement. This will result in better service quality and improved environmental standards due to reduced energy consumption and the minimisation of operating and maintenance costs.
Better-lit streets will also be safer for pedestrians and motorists alike. The new LED lighting is expected to cut the cost of energy consumption by 64 per cent and will result in annual electricity cost savings for the municipality.
Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD’s Yerevan office, said: “We are very grateful to our donors, especially to the European Union and Sweden, as well as the government of Armenia and the municipality for such a successful cooperation. The grant is a very important contribution by the E5P fund. It will complement the EBRD’s initial financing and ensure the successful continuation and completion of the project. This is the first project for E5P in Armenia that sets a standard and an example which we hope to implement again in future projects in solid waste management or energy efficiency with the help of E5P grants.”
Background information on E5P
The EBRD and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia signed an agreement on Armenia’s participation in the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) earlier this year in March 2015, where the government committed €1 million to E5P which will enable Armenia to access grant funds of €20 million for priority energy efficiency and environmental investments in the municipal sector.
The main objective of the initiative is to use grants to leverage loans dedicated to municipal energy efficiency and environmental projects, for example the rehabilitation of water and wastewater systems, solid waste management, street lighting and the insulation of public buildings.
The E5P is a multi-donor fund operating in the Eastern Partnership countries of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The European Union (EU) is the largest overall contributor to E5P with committed funds of €70 million. For E5P in Armenia, the EU has pledged €10 million which is boosted by additional commitments from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Latvia and Norway. The pledged funds are to help Armenia improve energy efficiency, contributing to energy security and economic competitiveness, policy dialogue, while having a positive impact on the environment.