Lebanon Businessnews News

EIB supports financing environmental projects
Low-interest loans for small-scale ventures
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The Cabinet has approved a €50-million loan (equivalent to $66 million) provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support investments in energy efficiency sectors. The Central Bank will be in charge of managing the funds.

“This project will support small-scale investments by the private sector in energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout Lebanon,” the EIB said. The project aims at trimming greenhouse gas emissions caused by conventional power consumption. The support will target investments in renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, and geothermal power production facilities.

Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French public development agency, is expected to join in on the financing. Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) will offer technical support and will handle engineering aspects. Pierre Khoury, LCEC director, said: “The loan was proposed when the EIB and AFD realized that the energy efficiency sector is booming locally.” Their support will be provided through loans offered by commercial banks at low interest rates. The Central Bank already runs a subsidy program for offering low-interest loans for environmental projects.

“The LCEC will conduct training sessions, help set required criteria, and provide engineering evaluation and coordinate technical engineering,” said Khoury. A project management unit will be established to run the project.

The EIB said the project could benefit from a grant of up to $5.3 million for technical assistance from the European Commission’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).” The loan, which is pending parliament approval, is part of the EIB’s budget for Lebanon for 2012.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Dec 28, 2012
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