The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Agence Française de Développement(AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are teaming up to further strengthen sustainable energy measures in Morocco, with the support of the European Union Neighbourhood Investment Facility (EU NIF).
The three financial institutions are providing a €35 million financing facility to Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP).
The finance line is the fourth under the Morocco Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MorSEFF), a comprehensive programme for sustainable energy investments through financial institutions.
This EBRD-led facility is dedicated to financing energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy investments. BCP will on-lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates in the commercial and industrial sectors, including commercial construction and energy service companies.
In addition, comprehensive technical assistance and investment incentives, funded by the EU NIF and by the EBRD Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Multi-Donor Fund*, will provide support to BCP in the design of business development tools and the successful implementation of the facility. It will also allow clients of BCP to receive support for project implementation, as well as investment incentives, encouraging them to make sustainable energy investments.
Mike Taylor, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions in SEMED and the Caucasus, said: “We are very pleased to further support energy efficiency in Morocco with a second loan to our partner BCP, promoting best practice and raising awareness about the advantages of sustainable energy investment. MorSEFF benefits from the expertise that the EBRD has accumulated in similar schemes through which we have invested €19 billion in sustainable energy. Of this amount, €4 billion has been made available through SEFFs to more than 100 financial intermediaries in 24 countries.”
Soumia Alami Ouali, Deputy General Manager for SMEs of BCP’s retail bank, said: “Boosting the MorSEFF finance line by €35 million marks a new phase in support for the energy transformation process involving SMEs in Morocco. The technical assistance provided by the European Union provides significant added value as part of this support mechanism. The framework also enables companies to enjoy favourable terms granted by the Banque Populaire Group for the various types of financing that can improve their competitiveness and help them develop new activities.”
“The AFD is happy to renew its support for the MorSEFF initiative, which highlights the convergence of Morocco’s public policies and France’s development priorities. The AFD is a major player in financing climate initiatives at the global level. Since 2005, it has committed more than €21 billion to financing climate co-benefit projects, including €2.5 billion invested directly in more than 70 partner banks, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Therefore, we are delighted to continue this cooperation with BCP aimed at promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, particularly against the background of COP22, which is now definitely focused on taking action,” said Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of the AFD Group.
Heinz Olbers, EIB Director of Lending Operations in Neighbouring Countries, commented: “At the time when the world is gathered in Morocco to discuss how to put the Paris Agreement into practice, this operation is an excellent example of how partnership with fellow financial institutions can help to do it. We have made climate action one of the EIB’s top priorities, and with our lending and advisory activities we mobilise financial resources in Morocco, as elsewhere, and channel them where impacts are expected to be the highest. This sustainable energy financing facility signed with Banque Centrale Populaire will contribute to reinforcing the role of the private sector in climate investments in order to cut emissions and build a climate-resilient society.”
“I am pleased that the EU is renewing its participation in BCP funding, with a donation to assist in the preparation of bankable projects but also to ease financial conditions,” said Michael Köhler, Director for Neighborhood South Division and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission.
Morocco became an EBRD country of operations in 2012 and to date the Bank has committed over €1 billion in 28 projects across the country in various sectors of the economy, including trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.
The EBRD’s strategic plan for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration. In the context of the EBRD’s focus on Green Economy Transition since late 2015, the Bank expects to more than triple the volume of renewable energy financed in Jordan in the near future.
*Donors to the SEMED Multi-Donor Fund include: Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom.