EBRD recognises sustainable energy projects in Moldova
Seven companies honoured at awards ceremony in Chisinau
With energy imports accounting for about 90 per cent of Moldova’s consumption, energy efficiency is a particularly important matter for the country.
The EBRD recognises that local enterprises play a significant role in reducing Moldova’s energy use. Last week, the EU-EBRD Sustainable Energy Excellence Awards 2012 honoured seven Moldovan companies that have undertaken energy efficiency investments. The winning firms were rewarded for successfully implementing sustainable energy projects under the Moldovan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MoSEFF).
More than 200 participants attended the award ceremony in Moldova’s capital Chisinau. Among them were National Bank Governor Dorin Dragutanu, Deputy Economy Minister Ilarion Popa, Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, local press and media, as well as MoSEFF’s partner banks and banks interested in cooperating with the facility in the future.
Low-cost improvements, big difference
Managers and representatives of the winning companies told the audience how low-cost improvements could bring about tangible benefits, leading to extensive energy savings and increased profitability and competitiveness.
Replacing or rehabilitating boilers, installing thermal insulation or using solar and biomass energy sources are only some of the many ways in which companies can reduce their energy consumption.
For instance, Chisinau-based meat-processing company Coloteia SRL used a €135,000 MoSEFF loan to invest in a new meat grinder, vacuum bowl cutter and sausage-filling machine. As a result of this investment, the company will save 38 per cent of electricity per year in the production process.
A popular restaurant in the capital, Butoias SA, boasts not only mouth-watering local dishes, but also an enviable track record when it comes to reducing energy bills. The restaurant saved up to 51 per cent of its annual energy consumption after carrying out building insulation work and installing new windows, solar collectors and heat pumps. All of these improvements were financed with a MoSEFF loan of €200,000.
Gheorghe Magdil, the director of Magt Vest, the winner of the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Award, said at the awards ceremony that “the technical assistance provided by the MoSEFF team was truly amazing. Each of our new sugar beet harvesters does the work of four of our old machines.”
"We imagined that the investment would pay back in about seven years, but we now see that our energy consumption is reduced by over 40 per cent and we have also reduced our harvest wastage by 10 per cent. This means the pay-back is around three years. Also, the driver cabins of the old harvesters used to fill with dust and get very hot. Now the working conditions for our staff are drastically improved.”
“The MoSEFF implementation team has been key to the enhanced profitability of today’s award-winning sustainable energy projects,” said Ian Smith, Senior Manager in the E2C2 team. “The team has been able to recommend technical solutions that some of the companies have never even thought of.”
The benefits of the MoSEFF facility are numerous. Participating banks experience enhanced relationships with their clients because the investments are presented as real projects rather than simple loan amounts. This helps the banks to better understand the needs of their clients and the impact that sustainable energy investments can have on company competitiveness and profitability.
In addition, the credit line provides practical training and on-the-job experience for local technical experts, thereby raising the standard of local knowledge. Some of these experts have links with the local university and their lectures draw on numerous examples from MoSEFF projects. This in turn has motivated many more young people to be the sustainable energy experts of the future.
Finally, a MoSEFF video developed by the EBRD’s Communications team provided the template for locally-produced videos about the award winners. Both videos have helped the local media to disseminate information about MoSEFF projects and results and promote the scheme’s viability.
37 projects making a huge difference
Launched in 2010 by the EBRD, MoSEFF is a €20 million credit line for on-lending to local private companies through participating commercial banks – Moldova-Agroindbank, Moldindconbank and BCR Chisinau. “There is a good market potential for local banks to support Moldovan companies in realising sustainable energy investments,” said Henry Russell, Director for Moldova in the Financial Institutions Team.
To date, the facility has disbursed about €10 million in loans supporting 37 projects in a wide range of industries from agriculture and food-processing to manufacturing.
MoSEFF is supported by a technical cooperation programme and an attractive grant component, both funded by the European Union through the INOGATE Programme.
It is estimated that MoSEFF-funded investments represent combined annual energy savings of 61,700 MWh of primary energy, with a collective carbon emissions reductions of about 24,178 tonnes a year. These savings are equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 27,400 Moldovan citizens and the carbon emission savings are equal to the annual emissions of over 17,000 passenger cars.
Each EBRD SEFF is a team effort and requires coordination and commitment from all the people involved. Organising the MoSEFF awards would not have been possible without great cooperation between members of the FI, E2C2 teams and the RO in Chisinau. Julia Otto, Head of RO in Chisinau adds: “I would like to thank everyone involved in making this a success and for raising the profile of sustainable energy in Moldova.”