In response to growing demand, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing US$ 110 million in new funds to Turkish lender Akbank to finance private companies investing in renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in Turkey.It is part of the EBRD strategy to help Turkey meet growing demand for electricity and diversify away from expensive imported fuel, while addressing climate change.
EBRD funds are extended through an investment in investment grade rated senior US dollar-denominated notes issued under Akbank’s Diversified Payment Rights (DPR) programme, an established market instrument used by Turkish banks to raise long-term funding in the capital markets.
The financing – supported by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and a €1.9 million grant from the European Union – will benefit renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in Turkey including solar, hydropower, wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency as well as water saving and waste minimisation projects.
The investment comes under the EBRD’s recently expanded Mid-size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MidSEFF) now totalling €1.5 billion. So far 47 projects have been financed through seven Turkish banks, helping to build over 800 MW of additional renewable energy capacity. The European Union is supporting the programme with a combined €6.8 million in grant funding which enables the EBRD to provide expert advice to both partner banks and their clients.
Akbank – one of the largest lenders in Turkey, publicly traded and with large market capitalisation – has a strong track record of on-lending MidSEFF funds. Last year it received US$ 110 million in financing in addition to US$ 100 million in 2011. So far, Akbank has successfully allocated these funds to industrial energy efficiency measures, as well as hydropower, wind and waste-to-energy projects.
Akbank’s Executive Vice President of Treasury, Kerim Rota, said that Akbank is glad to partner yet again with the EBRD: “Akbank continues to be a pioneering force in the Turkish banking sector in providing fresh funding to the private sector for renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in our country. We firmly believe that our efforts will also help Turkey meet its growing energy demand with a positive spillover for the financing of the country’s current account deficit, as renewable energy generation will diminish dependency on imported fuels while also addressing climate change. Going forward, Akbank will continue supporting Turkey’s goal of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in total production as well as diversifying the country’s energy sources.”
Noel Edison, Director of Financial Institutions at the EBRD, said: “We are impressed with the response to the previous two rounds of financing we offered to Akbank under our MidSEFF programme. The lender has financed eight projects helping create 73 MW in additional renewable capacity. The bank has a strong pipeline for further successful renewable energy and resource efficiency investments by Turkish corporates.”
Investing in sustainable energy and resource efficiency is a strategic priority for the EBRD in Turkey. Almost half of the Bank’s total portfolio in Turkey is in sustainable energy and since 2009 the EBRD has invested over €3 billion in more than 75 such projects, including two of the country’s largest wind farms – Bares and Rotor – and the largest geothermal power plant in Turkey (and second largest in Europe), Efeler.
The Bank is also working closely with the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and has helped develop the country’s first National Renewable Energy Action Plan to attract more investment in renewable energy projects. It has also supported the preparation of a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which is expected to include a wide range of sector-based resource efficiency measures aimed at achieving Turkey’s 2023 energy efficiency targets.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep.
To date, it has invested over €7 billion in the country through more than 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.