Bangladesh Businesses get Energy-Efficiency Financing

EASTERN Bank Ltd. (EBL) in Bangladesh has developed the first Sustainable Energy Finance loan for the country to help companies implement energy-saving measures and boosting the competitiveness of private enterprises who take out such loans.

Eastern Bank developed EBL Green Credit, with assistance from the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Fakhrul Alam, Deputy Managing Director of Eastern Bank Ltd., said the bank aims to finance $20 million in sustainable energy finance projects over the next five years, and avoid 200,000 tons of carbon emission in the process. Even though Bangladesh formulated a renewable energy policy in 2008, incentives to encourage private sector investments have been lacking.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, said, Bangladesh Bank is firmly committed to contribute significantly as a regulatory authority to the Sustainable Energy Finance agenda in Bangladesh.

Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury BB, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister, said, Sustainable development, including energy for all, is the strategy to go forward. The Green Credit product should help promote and finance the energy mix stipulated in the Energy Policy of the government of Bangladesh.

Kyle F. Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager in Bangladesh, said, This pioneering initiative is an important milestone in Bangladesh's continuing efforts to promote international best practices in climate change financing."

The power sector in Bangladesh relies heavily on natural gas. An acute shortfall in gas supply threatens to stall industrialization as well as the governments plan to electrify the entire country by 2020, highlighting the need for private sector investments in sustainable energy financing. 

Picture of Dhaka-Bangladesh by BL2593 reproduced under CCL.

Monday 11th June 2012

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