The EBRD is lending Rb 1.7 billion to UniCredit Leasing Russia (UCLR) – one of the country’s top leasing companies, with nation-wide coverage. The company will use the loan to finance new leases to energy efficiency projects, particularly to UCLR’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients in industry and agriculture, including those located outside the Moscow region.
Earlier, in 2011, the EBRD had lent Rb 1.2 billion to the company to provide leasing finance to SMEs for equipment and heavy vehicles.
Georgy Orlov, the EBRD’s Director for Financial Institutions in Russia, said: “Improving energy efficiency is one of the priority areas for the EBRD in the Russian financial sector. We have already invested over €100 million in similar projects. Working with UniCredit Leasing Russia represents another successful step in our efforts to help companies cut their energy use”.
Andrey Okhrimenko, Financial Director for UniCredit Leasing Russia, said: “EBRD financing will not only help us increase SME leasing for energy efficiency, but is also, in a way, a mark of quality of UCLR’s development strategy.”
Russia is one of the most energy-intensive countries in the region, with energy intensity 2.5 times that of the European Union. To help the country’s businesses reduce their energy consumption, the EBRD has established a special credit line programme – the Russian Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (RuSEFF). The facility also provides technical assistance to companies, supported by donor funding from Germany and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.