The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is expanding its efforts to promote energy efficiency in Moldova with a €5.5 million loan to CB “MOBIASBANCA-Groupe Société Générale” for on-lending to private companies undertaking energy-saving measures and investing in renewable energy projects.
The loan will be complemented by EU grants to provide direct incentives for borrowers of up to 20 per cent of the loan amount and to enable the EBRD to engage consultants who will help Mobiasbanca and businesses with technical advice for these investments, according to EBRD.
Julia Otto, Head of the EBRD office in Chişinău, said: “With this third loan to Mobiasbanca for financing sustainable energy projects in the private sector of Moldova, we are responding to growing market demand for such finance and know-how. Mobiasbanca, with its committed and professional team, has become a strong and dedicated partner of the EBRD over the years. We are pleased to continue these joint efforts to further increase competitiveness, profitability and energy savings for private companies here in Moldova.”
More than 90 per cent dependent on energy imports, Moldova spends over 30 per cent of its import budget on energy. Such a high level of energy dependency, coupled with a waste of resources at end-user level and obsolete energy infrastructure, makes Moldova one of the most energy-intensive countries in the region. On average, Moldovan companies use three times more energy to produce the same output as companies in the European Union.
Ridha Tekaia, President of Mobiasbanca – Groupe Société Générale, added: “With the help of our partners – the EBRD and the EU – the first two loans totalling €10 million were fully disbursed and showed remarkable results. More than 35 Moldovan companies benefited from financing with a grant component of up to 20 per cent, alongside professional technical expertise for energy-saving investments. This new loan illustrates Mobiasbanca’s commitment to helping local firms as they seek finance and advice for energy efficiency investments.”
A subsidiary of Groupe Société Générale SA, Mobiasbanca is Moldova’s fourth-largest commercial bank, serving over 130,000 active clients in the corporate, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and retail sectors through a network of 58 branches.
The financing is available under the Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility Extension (MoSEFF II) framework. Since 2010, when the EBRD started financing energy efficiency in Moldova, a total of over €38 million has been committed through MoSEFF to partner banks, helping more than 150 businesses to cut their energy bills and CO2 emissions. The resulting energy savings amount to over 23,000 MWh per year and could meet the energy needs of residents in Moldova’s second-largest city, Bălți, for more than a year. These projects helped reduce CO2 emissions by over 58,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to the annual emissions produced by over 40,000 cars.
The EBRD, one of the largest investors in Moldova, has signed over 100 investment projects in the country to date, covering energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, for a cumulative amount of over €1 billion.