Beijing, China (BBN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending about US$116.9 million in a partial credit guarantee program that will support private sector-led energy efficiency projects in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Under the pilot program, ADB is partnering with a private energy management company and financial institutions to retrofit existing buildings to save energy, and to support the construction of new energy-efficient “green buildings”.

The management company will identify buildings with energy savings potential, while ADB will share the project credit risks with the financial institutions, according to a press statement.

Johnson Controls, which has worldwide technical expertise in the field of energy efficiency, including in the PRC, and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has been selected as the first partner energy management company.

Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited will be the first partner financial institution in this pilot program providing financing to Johnson Controls’ buyers in China.

The need to improve energy efficiency in PRC has been growing with the country now the world’s second -largest energy consumer and one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, commercial banks in the PRC need further expertise to make technical evaluations of energy efficiency projects, to ensure the availability of project financing.

The Energy Efficiency Multi-Project Financing Program will improve access to domestic finance for a large number of energy end users seeking to make efficiency improvements, with the retrofitting of existing buildings typically leading to energy savings of 20 per cent – 40 per cent, the statement added.

BBN/SI/SS/08October08-2:41 AM (BST)