Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) develops the first sustainable energy finance loan product in Bangladesh to help companies implement energy-saving measures and boosting the competitiveness of private enterprises who take out such loans.
The private commercial bank has 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.
EBL Green Credit was launched on Sunday at a function, held at Ruposhi Bangla hotel in the capital Dhaka.
Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury BB, Energy Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Kyle F. Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager in Bangladesh, Fakhrul Alam, Deputy Managing Director of Eastern Bank Ltd. industry experts, lenders, representatives from financial institutions, and multilateral donors were present on the occasion.
Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury BB 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.”
Atiur Rahman said the Bangladesh Bank is firmly committed to contribute significantly as a regulatory authority to the Sustainable Energy Finance agenda in Bangladesh.
Fakhrul Alam 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.
Kyle F. Kelhofer 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 government’s plan to electrify the entire country by 2020, highlighting the need for private sector investments in sustainable energy financing.
BBN/SSR/AD-11June12-10:31 am (BST)