Bank Audi, EBRD bring $200M for green projects

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - BUSINESS -

BEIRUT: Bank Audi and the Euro­pean Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment Thurs­day joined forces to pro­vide $200 mil­lion to fi­nance green projects in Le­banon.

“With a view to strength­en­ing sus­tain­able en­ergy in Le­banon, the EBRD and Bank Audi, the largest bank in Le­banon, are join­ing forces by pro­vid­ing $100 mil­lion each for green projects. This in­cludes the first loan un­der the EBRD Green Econ­omy Fi­nanc­ing Fa­cil­ity for the coun­try,” a Bank Audi state­ment said.

It added that un­der the GEFF agree­ment, the EBRD is pro­vid­ing a $90 mil­lion loan, to be com­ple­mented by $10 mil­lion in con­ces­sional fund­ing from the Tai­wan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment Fund, for on-lend­ing to pri­vate bor­row­ers.

“The funds will be used for cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion and adap­ta­tion in­vest­ments, in line with the EBRD’s Green Econ­omy Tran­si­tion ap­proach, a com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions and im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency,” the state­ment added.

Bank Audi said it will match the GEFF fa­cil­ity with an ad­di­tional $100 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing to sup­port green in­vest­ments, bring­ing the to­tal green fi­nanc­ing pack­age to $200 mil­lion.

“The pro­gram ad­dresses crit­i­cal is­sues for Le­banon’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, such as di­ver­si­fy­ing en­ergy sup­ply, re­duc­ing the use of lim­ited nat­u­ral re­sources such as en­ergy and wa­ter, and im­prov­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, thus de­creas­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els, con­serv­ing re­sources and con­tribut­ing to a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment,” the state­ment said.

Gretchen Biery, EBRD’s Le­banon head, said: “This GEFF fa­cil­ity to Bank Audi is the first of­fered to a com­mer­cial bank in Le­banon and the largest ever granted to a sin­gle bank in the re­gion. The project demon­strates the EBRD’s com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the green econ­omy in Le­banon, and deep­ens our part­ner­ship with Bank Audi.”

Samir Hanna, chair­man and group CEO of Bank Audi, said the fund­ing will al­low busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als to in­vest in com­mer­cially vi­able and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able projects to sup­port Le­banon’s over­all tran­si­tion to a green econ­omy. –

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