The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to launch two new credit loans in Azerbaijan during the year, the head of the EBRD Baku office, Neal McCain told Trend.
"Three banks of the country will be provided with funds within the framework of the first line, in order to finance the small and medium business in the sphere of improving energy efficiency. The second loan line envisages financing of the women-entrepreneurs," McCain said.
All of these measures are the part of the new strategy of EBRD`s activity in Azerbaijan approved in late April, he added.
In March 2013, the EBRD signed its first loan on the energy efficiency with one of the Azerbaijani banks - "AccessBank" - within the framework of the energy efficiency program in the Caucasus region. A loan in the amount of $ 4.2 million has been allocated within the framework of the agreement, which will be directed at the reconstruction of the bank`s head office with total area of 9840 square meters. EBRD loan will cover 30 percent of the project cost, and the remainder will be paid by the bank itself.
After reconstruction, "AccessBank" will provide its head office employees with first-ever "green office" in Azerbaijan with the system of low power consumption. This system saves energy by 42 percent more than previous systems.
The loan is part of the EBRD's program on energy efficiency in the Caucasus region - "Caucasus Energy Efficiency Program" (CEEP), which was launched in July 2007. Under the programme loans are provided to local partner banks for investment in energy efficiency.
In total, since 1991, the EBRD has allocated about 1.8 billion euros for 146 projects in Azerbaijan; about half of the funds are directed at the private sector.
At present, the Azerbaijani Energy Ministry is preparing a National Action Plan for energy efficiency which will cover 2014-2020.
The ministry's representatives believe that up to 40 percent of energy consumed in Azerbaijan can be saved.