Energy Efficiency Funding for Geogia's Businesses
ENERGY saving efforts need to be greater in Georgia according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), who are looking to help the country's businesses with funding.
In the country saving energy is a relatively new concept to many: the country is still 50% more energy-intense than its trading partners. This is a stumbling block for businesses facing stiff international competition, especially at a time when energy prices can be highly unpredictable.
This is where the EBRD’s Caucasus Energy Efficiency Programme comes in: providing credit lines totalling $125 million, which local partner banks use to help companies and private households finance sustainable energy investments.
Iceberg Poti is one of the beneficiaries. The company is strategically located right next to the port of Poti – a busy hub for imports and exports connecting Georgia to the rest of Europe and markets further afield.
The small business provides refrigerated storage to commercial clients and keeps frozen fish, meats and fruit in its facilities before they reach their final destination. A significant part of Iceberg Poti’s expenses goes into electricity bills, meaning that there was great potential for cutting costs, explained Irakli Tsekvashvili, Iceberg Poti’s director.
“We designed the project with energy efficiency in mind. This will enable us to decrease the amount of electricity we use and make our products more competitive,” he said. “Since we deal with food products, environmental issues are very important. We have purchased equipment that is cleaner and more environmentally sound.”
The results have been impressive. Iceberg Poti now saves more than $100,000 in electricity costs every year.
These activities have started to make a real difference in terms of environmental impact: they have helped reduce CO2 emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes per year –equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than 15,000 Georgians.
The popularity of the Caucasus Energy Efficiency Programme means that it is now expanding to new horizons. Azerbaijan is the next port of call and the EBRD officially launched its programme in the country last month.
Picture of the Port of Poti, Georgia by Nc tech3 reproduced under CCL.
Monday 8th December 2014