In Montenegro, the country’s main electricity provider Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) has secured a €50 million ($59.2 million) senior loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to address the challenges presented by the Covid-19 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 loan follows EBRD helping EPCG and its distribution subsidiary CEDIS to deploy smart meters for domestic consumers. The programme resulted in Montenegro becoming a regional leader in smart meter deployment and the first EBRD economy to meet the EU target for smart meter coverage.
To date, more than 80% of customers in Montenegro already have smart meters, which translates into over 86,000 tonnes of carbon emissions savings per year. The company now aims to reach 85% by the end of 2020. EPCG also targets the development of 300MW of wind and solar generating capacity in the coming years.
Mr Branislav Pejovic, EPCG CFO, said: “EPCG is a key economic actor and a market leader. As a responsible company, through this financing, we want to safeguard our operations and ensure the sustainability of our planned investments. In light of ongoing uncertainty, the management will monitor the economic situation carefully and will draw on funds made available as required. Being part of the EBRD Solidarity Package is important and yet another demonstration of EPCG as a strong and trusted partner.”
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Director of EBRD Energy for EMEA region 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.”