By Maria Rozanova
A €2 million(US$2.17million) loan by the EBRD to Sparkasse Bank Makedonija will support investments in high-performance green technologies in privately owned buildings, including residential dwellings, in North Macedonia.
Sparkasse Bank Makedonija will on-lend funds to private borrowers who plan to invest in technologies, materials and solutions to improve energy efficiency. The EBRD financing comes under its Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme.
The building stock in North Macedonia is in urgent need of refurbishment and the introduction of insulation, for example, is expected to lower costs and improve comfort. This is the third GEFF line granted to Sparkasse Bank Makedonija to satisfy the growing demand for this product.
In addition, the EBRD is extending a €3 million mortgage loan to Sparkasse Bank Makedonija for on-lending to private borrowers for housing purposes. This is the second mortgage loan that the EBRD is extending to this bank, after the first one, signed in 2017, was fully on-lent on the market of North Macedonia. Combined with the loan for energy-saving improvements in people’s homes, the financing of mortgages will help to expand lending to the residential sector.
GEFF in North Macedonia is part of the EBRD’s €85 million Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility, launched in 2017. The programme is a joint initiative by the European Union (EU), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
The initiative operates under the umbrella of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Western Balkans (REEP Plus), funded by the EU and implemented in partnership with the Energy Community Secretariat. REEP Plus has also provided policy support for harmonising the country’s law on energy efficiency and regulations for energy efficiency in buildings with the relevant European directives.
The EBRD is a major institutional investor in North Macedonia. To date, it has invested more than €2 billion in 129 projects in the country. Supporting green energy is a priority for the EBRD as it addresses one of the country’s most pressing challenges.