Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland will benefit from a PLN 255 million (€60 million equivalent) loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. for on-lending to entrepreneurs who are seeking to reduce their energy costs with new and more efficient equipment.
Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. will use at least 70 per cent of the proceeds of the EBRD loan to finance sustainable energy projects by Polish SMEs, while the remaining 30 per cent will be used for the financing of equipment, light commercial vehicles and trucks and trailers used by the enterprises. The funds will be available to borrowers as loans or leases.
The EBRD loan is being provided under the SME-focused Polish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility for Leasing (PolSEFF Leasing) which is the first sustainable energy financing framework without grants on the Polish market. PolSEFF was launched in 2010 for energy efficiency improvements as the Polish economy remains highly energy and carbon intensive, with a carbon intensity that is almost twice the European average.
To date, the EBRD has financed 457 SME projects under the PolSEFF programme that have resulted in total annual savings of more than 50,000 MWh and 36,000 tCO2. Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. is the fifth bank to start lending to Polish SMEs for energy efficiency improvements under the framework.
Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President, said: “We welcome this opportunity to cooperate with Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. helping Polish SMEs invest in energy efficiency and modernise their equipment. This is not only good for the environment, but also makes economic sense. We are also confident that by teaming up with Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. our credit line will contribute to widening the reach of leasing as an important source of long-term financing for smaller companies.”
Romuald Zienkiewicz, Finance Managing Director of Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A., added: “SMEs are a driving force of the Polish economy. By combining the capacities of Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska S.A. and the EBRD we are creating solutions small Polish businesses to finance their energy efficiency projects. This approach will help boost investments and also protect the environment.”
Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested €7.7 billion in more than 360 projects in the country. In addition to its wide range of products for banks and companies, in recent years the Bank has also built a growing portfolio of investments (both equity and debt) in the Polish financial sector, for which demand remains high.
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