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The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed three loans supporting projects in Belarus. A EUR 90m loan will finance the replacement of obsolete gas-fired boilers with biomass boilers capable of producing around 1 000 GWh/year of renewable energy

instead of using fossil fuel.The project also involves the upgrade of district heating systems through the installation of new peak boilers and the modernisation of grids in all six Belarus regions (oblasts). 

Furthermore, the EIB loan – provided under the European Union’s EU4Energy Programme – will support thermal renovation of multi-apartment buildings with a total floor area of 500 000 m2. This will help to significantly cut the housing sector’s energy consumption, resulting in energy savings of around 60 GWh/year, and reduce dependence on imported fuel. Overall, the project will generate substantial environmental benefits with CO2 savings and improve the well-being of Belarus’s citizens. 

The two other loans – EUR 85m to Belarusbank and EUR 20m to Belagroprombank – aim at improving access to long-term financing for Belarus’s SMEs. The two banks will have more financial capacity to lend to local companies. This will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the private sector and help economic diversification in Belarus, where a significant part of the economy is still dominated by large state-owned enterprises. Combined, these two loans are expected to support around 200 SMEs (100 each) and sustain 3 700 full-time jobs.

The EIB loans are being provided in the framework of the European Union’s EU4BusinessInitiative targeted at smaller businesses in the Eastern Partnership countries.

The EIB enjoys a well-developed and fruitful cooperation with the two banks: the EU bank provided a loan of EUR 25m to Belarusbank and EUR 50m to Belagroprombank in November 2018. Both these loans have been successfully disbursed for the benefit of Belarus’s SMEs.

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: “Today marks another milestone in the EIB’s cooperation with Belarus. The three loans that we are signing cover a wide area of the country’s priorities, from SME support to energy efficiency. Our portfolio of Belarusian projects is growing dynamically, in line with EU objectives, and I am looking forward to further collaboration.”

Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Roumas stated: “The Republic of Belarus highly appreciates relationships built with the European Investment Bank. With no other financial institution we had such a jumpstart and significant investment projects within  so short time“.