World Bank to Loan Ukraine $200M for Energy-Efficiency Project

The World Bank’s board of directors has approved a $200 million loan to finance investments in energy-saving programs in industrial companies, municipalities and municipal-owned companies, as well as energy service companies, reports the World Bank on its website.

The project is to help Ukraine achieve its ambitious goals to reduce energy intensity by 20 percent by 2015 and by 50 percent by 2030. It will also help the country reduce its dependence on gas imports, therefore cutting the energy costs and energy security risks.

“The potential for energy-efficiency in Ukraine is enormous. If the country were to reduce its energy intensity to the level of Poland, it could reduce its energy consumption by about one-third. This could translate into a reduction of at least 30 percent in the consumption of natural gas,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

Initially, the news on the loan went public in November 2010, when the World Bank officer in Ukraine Astrid Munros reported that the project is almost 50 percent prepared and could be soon adopted by the World Bank Council.

In February, 2011, Ukraine voiced its plans to attract $3.5 billion in the energy sector to improve its energy efficiency. Consequently, the country’s cabinet of ministers has increased the forecast of the state program of energy-efficiency funding for 2010-2015 approximately up to $43.5 billion, where $3.6 billion will be allocated from the state and local budgets and the rest is planned to be attracted from alternative sources.

The World Bank's commitment to Ukraine in 38 projects amounts to about $7 billion since it joined the World Bank in 1992. Since then, Ukraine received support from the World Bank to further its efforts in reforming and restructuring its energy sector through policy dialogue, technical assistance and financing of adjustment and investment projects, including two hydropower rehabilitation projects, a power transmission project, Kyiv District heating and Kyiv public buildings energy-efficiency projects, a coal sector adjustment loan, and a coal sector pilot project.