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More green loans for the private sector
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Agence Française de Developpement funds $34 million in aid

The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) signed yesterday a loan agreement of $34 million with the Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) to finance environmentally friendly projects.

Pierre Khoury, Director of Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), said: “This loan will be added to the National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action program (NEEREA). It brings the total number of loans since its start to $380 million.” The LCEC provides technical assistance to applicants.

Owners of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) may acquire a NEEREA loan from any bank, provided that his project is energy efficient or works on renewable energy. The payback period depends on the value of the loan, but no longer than14 years. It has a 0.6 percent interest. The ceiling for a single loan is $17 million.

French Ambassador, Patrice Paoli, said: “The economic and environmental importance of the project contributes to lowering energy consumption by 20 percent and carbon emissions by 300,000 tons.”

The European Investment Bank (EIB) also provided a $56 million euro loan two months ago for the same purpose.

NEEREA is a national financing mechanism initiated by the Central Bank, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Finance, UNDP, the European Union (EU), and the LCEC. It allows private sector entities (individuals, SMEs, or corporate bodies) to apply for subsidized loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Since the program’s launch in 2011, 256 loans have been approved, creating 6,000 jobs, according to Khoury.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Jun 30, 2015