European bank backs green investments by SMEs in Turkey

European bank backs green investments by SMEs in Turkey

European bank backs green investments by SMEs in Turkey

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on June 29 announced it will provide €25 million ($30 million) to Turkey’s Aklease to support green investments by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The loan will help the Turkish firm give funding to eligible private-sector companies for investments in energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste minimization, and small-scale renewable energy, the EBRD said in a statement.

Aklease is a subsidiary of private lender Akbank and the fifth largest leasing company in terms of net leasing receivables, the statement said.

Francis Malige, EBRD managing director for financial institutions, said the deal aims to encourage smaller enterprises to invest in greener and more climate-friendly solutions.

“As the recovery of the Turkish economy is gathering pace, now is the time to commit to sustainable, post-pandemic growth,” he said.

Çetin Düz, general manager of Aklease, pointed out that some 70% to 75% of the firm’s investments in 2020 were in sustainable energy, adding that the company no longer finances coal-fueled thermal power plants and coal mining investments.

“Aklease is a strong believer in climate finance and encourages customers to pursue green investments,” he stressed.

“We are extremely proud of this and continue on the green path. The loan agreement with the EBRD is a strong indicator of this direction.”

The loan has been provided under the Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility backed by the EU and with funds from Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry, read the statement.

“Launched in 2010, the credit line has provided €694 million [over $826 million] to finance more than 2,000 projects to date, helping to install 595 MW of renewable energy capacity in the country,” the EBRD said.

The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey and has invested almost €13.5 billion (over $16 billion) in the country to date, the statement added.