The European Investment Bank (EIB), with EUR 50 million, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), with EUR 30 million, are jointly supporting the Lebanon Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Finance Facility – LEEREFF. This new credit line will be available to SMEs active in different business areas and industries, with a spectacularly low 2% interest rate, subsidized by Banque du Liban (BDL). Loans will be offered on a first come, first served basis through five (5) Lebanese banks: Bank Audi, BLC Bank, Byblos Bank, Fransabank and Societe Generale de Banque au Liban. To ensure that the energy savings pay for the investment in the shortest possible time, companies can also rely on the FREE technical support of LEEREFF team, funded by European Union (EU).
The launch of LEEREFF took place on July 11th 2019, at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut, in the presence of Mr. Wael H. Hamdan (BDL, Executive Director, Head of Financing Unit), Mr. Damien Sorrell (EIB, EIB Representative for Lebanon), Mr. Thierry Liscia (AFD, Deputy Director of AFD Lebanon), Mr. Pierre Khoury (LCEC, General Director of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation) and Mr. Werner Peylo (LEEREFF, Project Manager), and representatives from all five Lebanese partner banks: Bank Audi, BLC Bank, Byblos Bank, Fransabank and Societe Generale de Banque au Liban.
LEEREFF has been developed to support a wide range of investments in field of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Green Buildings, with a total credit volume of EUR 80 million. Funds will be dedicated to SMEs in Lebanon, through the Banque du Liban (BDL), who subsidies the interest rate and will make all the proceeds available via five local partner banks.
BDL Governor’s representative, Mr. Wael Hamdan, inaugurated the press conference with his speech on LEEREFF as a valuable support for the Lebanese sustainable energy sector, saying that “since 2010, Banque du Liban has played a major role in bridging the gap between the financial sector and the energy sector in Lebanon, by shifting resources from unconventional energy technologies to cleaner energy technologies.”
He added: “Through the LEEREFF and together with the EIB, AFD, EU and LCEC, we are certain that such innovative financing mechanism will enhance the financial sustainability of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors in Lebanon.”
In turn, EIB Representative for Lebanon, Mr. Damien Sorrell, said that “EIB, the EU Bank, is glad to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through LEEREFF. This project is at the heart of the EIB’s climate change action, one of the Bank’s top priorities, and will allow Small and Medium Enterprises across Lebanon to reduce their energy consumption, thereby contributing to the preservation of the environment and increasing competitiveness through reduced costs.
He added that “the EIB is proud to be financing this project alongside the EU who also contributed through a EUR 3.6m grant, Banque du Liban and Agence française de développement (AFD) and the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC).”
Deputy Director of AFD Lebanon, Mr. Thierry Liscia, participated by saying that “AFD is convinced that partnerships enhance the leverage effects and maximize the expected impacts.”
He added: “We are proud to contribute to the LEEREFF facility alongside EIB and EU to support the Lebanese private sector actors who have the potential to play a key role in accompanying the country on the green energy path.”
Following the introductory presentations by the developers of LEEREFF, Mr. Pierre Khoury, General Director and President of the Board of the LCEC (Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation), explained the important role of LCEC in cooperating with LEEREFF and contributing to the finance facility as a Project Implementation Unit.
LEEREFF’s Project Manager, Mr. Werner Peylo, concluded the session by talking about LEEREFF’s green loans supporting green investments for Lebanese SMEs in different business areas and industries, with a spectacularly low 2% interest rate, subsidized by Banque du Liban (BDL), and offered by five local banks which he welcomed aboard.
The press conference was concluded by a stage signing between Banque du Liban and the five Lebanese partner banks: Bank Audi, BLC Bank, Byblos Bank, Fransabank and Societe Generale de Banque au Liban.