IFC & Philippine Bank Combine to Expand Energy Efficiency

The International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank, has partnered with Philippine bank Banco de Oro (BDO) in expanding into energy efficiency.

In a statement, IFC said the partnership with BDO allows them to encourage more investments into energy efficiency that will also help the Philippines manage climate change.

Under a new cooperation agreement, IFC said it will provide advisory services to Banco de Oro to provide the local private sector the appropriate financing for sustainable-energy investments.

“BDO sees a lot of investment potential in the energy-efficiency market, as well as in clean development mechanism finance,” Nestor Tan, Banco de Oro president, said.

He added that BDO is glad to have IFC’s global expertise in sustainable-energy finance complementing our deep understanding of the Philippine business environment.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused solely on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets.

Along with the IBRD, IFC is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including support for climate-friendly investments.

To help the government achieve its energy-efficiency targets, the IFC last year launched its sustainable-energy finance program in the Philippines to assist local banks in moving loan financing away from high-energy-consuming projects toward those favoring energy efficiency and emission reduction while meeting the country’s growing energy needs.

William Beloe, IFC head of advisory services and sustainability program manager for the Philippines, said his agency and the Department of Energy have found there are about $8 billion worth of financing opportunities available and needed in energy efficiency.

Within the Philippines there are shortages of electricity production already, where the demand outstrips the supply in all of three major grid areas.

Beloe stated: “Hence, if we can use energy effectively and more efficiently—we are in part solving this problem.”

Beloe also pointed out that power costs in the Philippines are among the three most expensive within the region—which means there’s very good business case we’re doing this. By using less energy per unit of output you are saving your company money.

“There is a great push for greater energy independence in every country, but particularly among island countries where energy independence is sometimes difficult,” said Beloe, adding that the Philippines imports 50 percent of its energy and leaves it vulnerable to price fluctuations.

Tuesday 16th March 2010

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