The EBRD announced extension of up to EUR 150mn credit line to Bulgarian banks to help increase the energy efficiency and competitiveness of local enterprises. The initiative of the government aimed at addressing the energy intensity of the Bulgarian economy involves also a grant component of up to EUR 150mn made available from EU Structural Funds. The EBRD financing will be allocated to SMEs, which wish to invest in energy saving technologies, as well as small scale renewable energy projects such as solar thermal and heat pumps.
The first six credit lines under EBRD's finance facility amount to EUR 52mn and will be extended to Allianz Bank Bulgaria, DSK Bank, MKB Unionbank, ProCredit Bank Bulgaria, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria and UniCredit Bulbank. Jean Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD Managing Director for Central and South-Eastern Europe, said that the facility is e first co-financing instrument alongside EU Structural Funds targeting sustainable energy investments in the SME sector. It is expected to help SMEs reduce their energy consumption and carbon foot print. Bulgaria's energy intensity is more than five times higher than the average for the EU, the EBRD noted.