An advisory project started in June 2015 by a member of the World Bank Group to help a NLB Prishtina bank in Kosovo* better identify, evaluate and finance energy efficiency projects, resulted in new lending products for energy efficiency for private households and for small and medium-sized companies. The International Finance Corporation said it helped the bank boost such projects, also with a training programme, to help cut costs and mitigate climate change.
The local bank piloted the lending product for households from December to February and is now officially launching both products. “By using IFC’s experience and expertise in sustainable finance, we are hoping to unlock the potential of investments to make smaller businesses and private homes more energy efficient,” said Albert Lumezi, chairman of the Management Board of NLB Prishtina, and cited cleaner, more sustainable environment as motivation.
The advisory project is a part of IFC’s Sustainable Energy Finance Program in Europe and Central Asia, implemented in partnership with Austria’s Federal Ministry of Finance. NLB Prishtina is the second bank from Kosovo* to join the programme. “Energy remains one of the most important issues facing Kosovo* today. Investments in energy efficiency are not only good for the environment, they’re good for business, because they help reduce energy consumption and save costs,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC’s regional manager for the Western Balkans. Work with NLB supports the government’s first National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which aims to achieve energy savings of 9% by 2018, he added.
Kosovo* became a member and shareholder of IFC in 2009. Since then, IFC has invested and mobilized USD 391 million (EUR 348 million) in five projects across a variety of sectors, the statement said. In addition, it has supported trade flows of EUR 4.28 million through the trade finance program. IFC’s advisory services in Kosovo* aim to improve the investment climate and performance of private sector companies, and attract private sector participation in the development of infrastructure projects, according to the press release.