A new bank in Kosovo has joined the energy efficiency financing programme of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Under an agreement signed by Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD’s president, and Arton Celina, the chief executive officer of BPB, the bank will receive a EUR 1 million credit line for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual households for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.
The package is extended under Kosovo Sustainable Energy Projects framework (KoSEP), the two institutions said.
“Green energy investments are key for the EBRD; we see combatting global climate change as one of our strategic priorities, and aspire to be a leader among multilateral institutions in engaging private banks in sustainable energy financing,” said Chakrabarti.
BPB is one of two banks in Kosovo that are majority-owned by local investors. EBRD, which has had a 10% stake in the bank since 2011, has already cooperated with it, including in trade finance and small business lending. EBRD said it has also facilitated technical assistance for capacity building, particularly in the areas of corporate governance, risk management and internal controls, financed by the EBRD Western Balkans Fund, supported by international donors.
The EBRD-run Kosovo Sustainable Energy Projects framework, launched in 2013, became the first financing programme in Kosovo for small and medium-sized enterprises and residential energy efficiency and small-scale renewables. “Kosovo is very energy intensive while access to energy remains limited. We see a strong potential for energy efficiency improvements in the country. For this to happen, local banks need to start seeing the promise of sustainable energy projects and to provide longer-term funding. So we are very pleased that BPB – which has valuable expertise in lending to SMEs and households – has now joined this crucial programme, under which €11 million has already been made available to borrowers,” stated EBRD’s head of operations in Kosovo Elena Petrovska.
Including the new agreement, EBRD has invested EUR 204 million in 50 projects in Kosovo.