Financing of more than $200 million for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects has become ready for deployment after all the required procedures have been completed, said Pierre El Khoury, Director General of the Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation (LCEC).
The loans could benefit from interest subsidies granted by the Central Bank (BDL).
There is strong demand for the loans and the funds could be completely used up before the end of the current year, Khoury said.
He said that the financing program was announced in September 2018, but that the required procedures take time. There were no problems, unlike the case with subsidized housing loans, Khoury said.
The financing targets renewable energy projects, energy-saving projects in green buildings, and investments that aim to improve energy efficiency.
Around €100 million ($113 million) of the loans will be provided through the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) while €80 million ($90 million) will be granted through the Lebanon Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financing Facility (LEEREFF).
Pascale Assaad, Marketing Expert for LEEREFF, said that borrowers will pay a subsidized interest rate of two percent on the LEEREFF loans which have a tenure of 14 years plus a grace period of four years.
The LEEREF loans finance up to 80 percent of the investment cost of a project. They range from €40,000 ($45,000) to €15 million ($17 million).
The GEFF loan could range from $1,000 to $20 million. Those who borrow through GEFF could benefit from a subsidized interest rate of 2.25 percent, Khoury said. BDL’s approval of a subsidized loan takes three to four months, he said.
Both the LEEREFF and GEFF teams will provide technical assistance and advisory services to the borrowers.
Granting the loans requires the approval of BDL and the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC).
LEEREF funds are provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through five local banks, SGBL, Fransabank, BLC Bank, Bank Audi, and Byblos Bank. GEFF’s loans are provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) through Bank Audi.