Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe EBRD is promoting energy efficiency in Poland with a €50 million loan to Bank BGZ and €35 million loan to Bank Millennium for on-lending to local small and medium enerprises (SMEs) undertaking sustainable energy investments.
The loans are part of the EBRD’s €150 million Poland Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (PolSEFF).
Majority owned by Rabobank, Bank BGZ is a leading bank in Poland with national outreach, focusing on small and medium companies both in big cities as well as in rural regions.
Bank Millennium, majority owned by Banco Comercial Português, is a universal bank providing a full range of lending, transaction and savings products to retail and business customers. Millennium will strengthen its focus on increasing its business in the SME segment in Poland.
The EBRD financing will support the banks in extending sustainable energy financing to SMEs operating in the manufacturing, services, retail, agri-business and other sectors.
"The proceeds of the EBRD loans will be used to finance eligible energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects with up to €1 million. Such investments include industrial energy efficiency improvements, energy efficiency and/or renewable energy measures in commercial buildings and small-scale renewable energy production. The project will help local SMEs improve their competitivness and overall efficiency, and will contribute to reducing the Polish economy’s energy intensity," EBRD says.
The EBRD loan is supported by a comprehensive technical assistance and grants programme, provided by the European Union that will support the banks in promoting financing for sustainable energy projects and help SMEs to identify and prioritise such projects.
“Promoting energy efficiency is one of the EBRD’s key priorities and we are pleased to expand our cooperation with BGZ and Millennium in this important sector. The Polish economy is one of the most energy intensive in the EU and has significant potential to rationalise its energy consumption through investments in sustainable energy projects. We expect more Polish financial institutions to join the facility shortly”, said Terry McCallion, EBRD Director for Energy Efficiency.
“Bank BGŻ already has experience in financing renewable energy projects. For many of our agribusiness clients the implementation of energy efficiency solutions is a natural consequence of business and development of the company, but also a requirement resulting from high energy consumption. We are convinced that the cooperation with the EBRD will strengthen our position on the Polish market and will allow us to offer unique solutions to Polish SMEs, contributing to rational use of energy”, said Witold Okarma, Vice President of the Management Board of Bank BGŻ.
“Financing new business initiatives in the SME segment is one of our priorities” - said Bogusław Kott, Chairman of the Management Board of Bank Millennium. “Taking part in the programme to develop effective sources of energy generation and to promote its rational usage is of strategic importance for the economy, for local initiatives and for our customers. Hence our presence in this programme”, he added.
The EBRD will host the official launch of PolSEFF at the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, on 26th January 2011. During the event, the participating financial institutions and PolSEFF implementaiton team will highlight financing conditions and full eligibility criteria as well as activating the dual language PolSEFF website.
The Bank’s Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities are successful commercial products that are already under implemention through 35 banks in 15 EBRD countries of operation in eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, Central Asia and the Caucasus for a total amount of €1.2 billion.
Since the beginning of its activity in Poland the Bank has invested over €4.5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, of which approximately €1.3 billion in the financial sector, mobilising additional investment of more than €13 billion.