€2.5 million loan to Ohridska Banka to support residential investments
Withstanding the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy the EBRD is demonstrating its support for North Macedonia with a new €2.5 million loan to Ohridska Banka AD Skopje.
The first agreement since the outbreak of the global crisis will support energy efficiency improvements of residential buildings, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve homeowners’ quality of life.
Andi Aranitasi, EBRD Head of North Macedonia, said: “The signing of this loan today shows that the EBRD is standing by its partner banks and is ready to support them under all circumstances. We note that demand for energy efficiency loans continues at the time of crisis and we are available to serve clients in support of North Macredonia’s green transition.”
The financing is already the third loan agreement with Ohridska Banka AD Skopje and comes under the Green Economy Financing Facility Programme (GEFF). The funds will be on-lent to support investments by private homeowners in green technologies, materials and investments in boilers, windows and lighting. The building stock in the country is in urgent need of refurbishment and the introduction of insulation, for example, is expected to lower costs and improve comfort.
Ohridska Banka AD Skopje, which in 2019 became part of the Steiermarkische Sparkasse group, is a long-standing partner of the EBRD and a market leader in financing green residential projects in North Macedonia.
GEFF in North Macedonia is part of the EBRD’s €85 million Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility, launched in 2017. The programme is a joint initiative by the European Union (EU), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
It is implemented under the umbrella of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Western Balkans (REEP Plus), funded by the EU and implemented in partnership with the Energy Community Secretariat. REEP Plus has also delivered policy support for harmonising the country’s law on energy efficiency and regulations for energy efficiency in buildings with the relevant European directives.
The EBRD is a major institutional investor in North Macedonia. To date, it has invested €2.0 billion in 131 projects in the country. Supporting green energy is a priority for the Bank as it addresses one of the country’s most pressing challenges. To address the issue further, the capital Skopje recently joined the EBRD Green Cities initiative.