The private residential and building sector in Albania will benefit from wider access to finance thanks to a €6 million loan that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing to Albania’s Union Bank.
The new financing for Albania is provided under the EBRD’s €85 million Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF). The programme is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU), bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and is implemented in partnership with the Secretariat of the Energy Community. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance will provide incentives and technical cooperation in support of green technology investments.
Union Bank, an EBRD client since 2008, will on-lend the funds to its own clients in support of investments in high-performance energy efficiency projects in privately owned residential dwellings or buildings. Clients will be able to invest in insulation, solar panels, efficient boilers and other green technologies.
The EBRD’s support for green energy investments underscores its commitment to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. As its contribution to these goals, the EBRD aims to devote 40 per cent of its annual investments of over €9 billion to climate finance. It is well on the way to meeting this target.
The GEFF programme provides financing for energy efficiency improvements to households through a network of more than 130 local financial institutions across 24 countries, supported by almost €4 billion of EBRD funds.
Henry Russell, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, said: “The occasion marks the first time that our award winning GEFF programme is made available to a bank to be on-lent to residents and vendors of green technologies in Albania. Together with the Union Bank and with the support of the European Union, the Government of Austria and the Western Balkans Investment Framework, we will work to expand residential energy efficiency lending and boost the competitiveness of the financial sector.”
Gazmend Kadriu, CEO of Union Bank commented: “In cooperation with EBRD Union Bank has already successfully implemented several projects. Through this additional loan from GEFF, Union Bank will be able to support investments in energy efficiency projects in privately owned houses. Expanding residential energy lending in Albania will help Union Bank to promote further its social and environmental objectives.”
To date, the EBRD has invested €1.023 billion in some 82 projects in Albania.