EBRD lends 50 mln euro to Montenegro's EPCG in coronavirus crisis support

Source: EPCG

PODGORICA (Montenegro), July 31 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Friday it is lending 50 million euro ($59 million) to Montenegro's majority state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) to support the company in absorbing the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

"The loan will help ensure the stability and resilience of the country’s energy provision while simultaneously protecting the achievements made by the Montenegrin energy sector in its ambitious clean growth and decarbonisation agenda," the EBRD said in a statement.

It recalled that a previous EBRD financing supported the installation of smart meters throughout the power distribution grid of EPCG's distribution subsidiary CEDIS for domestic consumers, resulting in Montenegro becoming a regional leader in smart meter deployment and the first EBRD economy to meet the EU target for smart meter coverage.

EPCG now aims to raise the share of customers who already have smart meters to 85% by the end of 2020, from current 80%.

The company also plans to develop 300 MW of wind and solar power capacity in the coming years, the EBRD said.

"We have worked with EPCG for many years, supporting its transition to a modern, commercially oriented utility operating a smart network. We’re very pleased to have the opportunity now to provide short-term support to ensure their resilience in the face of Covid-19 impacts and in particular sustain the momentum of Montenegro’s accelerating green transition," the head of EBRD Energy for EMEA region, Harry Boyd-Carpenter, said in the statement.

Since the launch of its operations in Montenegro in 2006, the EBRD has financed 73 projects worth 677 million euro, turning into one of the leading investors in the small Adriatic country.

($=0.8453 euro)

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