MINSK - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided financing for 21 projects in Belarus in 2018 worth in excess of €360 million, head of the EBRD Office in Minsk Alexander Pivovarsky said in a statement on Jan 10.
According to preliminary estimates, Belarus will be in the Top 10 of the most active countries out of 38 where the bank conducted its operations in 2018. “Last year was the most successful in the history of the bank’s operations in Belarus,” the information agency BelTA reports citing Pivovarsky.
Pivovarsky referred to the pilot focused on modernizing residential buildings to improve their energy efficiency as one of the EBRD’s key promising projects in Belarus. In his words, together with the Belarusian government, the EBRD is working on new approaches to corporate governance in the public sector.
In 2018, the EBRD conducted approximately two thirds of its operations in the private sector, the rest in the public sector. The bank is set to stick to this ratio in the next five years, private sector development remaining a priority, said Pivovarsky.
For example, in 2018 the EBRD earmarked the largest municipal loan of €84 million to Minskvodokanal, €5 million to the solid waste management company in Pukhovichi District and Cherven District of Minsk Region and also €42 million to complete the Minsk Ring Road 2 reconstruction project.
The EBRD signed loan agreements with a number of foreign and domestic companies in the private sector. The bank allocated €50 million to the manufacturer of particleboard and furniture company IOOO VMG Industry, €20 million to the furniture manufacturer IOOO Mebelain, €20 million to OOO Evrotorg. In 2018, the EBRD bought a stake in the agricultural group Servolux and also issued a €5 million loan to the pharmaceutical company Apteka Group.
In the banking sector, the EBRD continued cooperation with Belinvestbank having allotted it a €50 million loan. The EBRD also starting provided credit financing in Belarusian rubles.
The EBRD has supported the development of renewable energy in the country, having financed the construction and commissioning of four biogas CHPs in Grodno Region and Brest Region.
The EBRD has launched a Green City action plan for Minsk to identify the activities and areas of investments to address the priority environmental problems.
The Belarusian government and the EBRD signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the pre-privatization support for OAO Krinitsa in 2018-2020.
Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €2.4 billion in 115 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy. In 2016 the EBRD adopted a new strategy for operations in Belarus in 2016-2019. The document abolished the calibrated approach, which restricted EBRD operations with the public sector. Belarus and the EBRD have been implementing a number of projects in utilities industry, energy saving, transport infrastructure and environment protection.