The European Investment Bank, through its dedicated development finance arm EIB Global, backs the four-year programme of investment in the Moldovan electricity distribution sector. The programme will be implemented by ICS Premier Energy Distribution, Moldova’s largest private electricity distribution system operator, which serves about 70% of the country. The EIB finance, in line with the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy, will contribute to the modernisation, digitalisation and expansion of the electricity distribution grid in the central and southern part of Moldova, including the capital Chisinau.
The four-year investment programme to modernise the electricity distribution network is needed to meet regulatory requirements and replace ageing assets that have exceeded their economic lifetime and no longer meet required standards. The programme will ensure continuity of service and improve the quality and reliability of electricity distribution. New metering and telecommunications devices will increase digitalisation.
The loan will help Premier Energy Distribution transform a conventional distribution grid into a digital smart grid, ensuring security of supply and improving services to end users. The outcomes expected from the programme are aligned with EU and EIB policy priorities as well as the country’s National Energy Strategy to 2030.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) co-financed the project via a parallel loan for an equal amount of $30 million.
Premier Energy Distribution’s Country Manager in Moldova, Jose Luis Gomez Pascual, said: “We appreciate our partnership with the EIB and the Bank’s involvement in helping us modernise our electricity distribution network through the use of more robust materials and cleaner technologies, resulting in higher grid efficiency. Moldova has taken a firm decision to pursue a path towards EU accession. Similarly, at Premier Energy Distribution, we have reinforced our plans to improve the quality of service to reach higher EU quality standards.”
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwinska, who is responsible for EIB Global’s operations in Moldova, said: “We are pleased to support this timely and relevant modernisation of Moldova’s electricity distribution network, which will boost the country’s energy resilience. The well-developed electricity infrastructure will ensure that both people and businesses in Moldova continue to enjoy a reliable electrical power supply. We at the EIB, the EU climate bank, also know that it is vital to boost electricity grids in order to see the growth of renewable energy, which is key for successful climate action. The EIB supports the Republic of Moldova on its EU accession path and is pleased to invest in its green and sustainable future.”
Head of the EIB Representation for the Republic of Moldova Alberto Carlei said: “The project comes at a critical time when Moldova is facing a severe energy crisis. The financed investment supports the government’s objectives to increase the security of electricity supply, foster private investment and contribute to climate change mitigation. The operation, also fully aligned with EU policy priorities, will cater for demand growth and improve the quality and reliability of the electricity distribution network.”
Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, said: “We welcome this new loan by the EIB to implement digitalisation energy action plan. The development of a cyber-secure, transparent and competitive market for digital energy services allows for an efficient integration of renewable energy. We are pleased that the European Union supports the government’s efforts towards energy security, private investment, and climate change mitigation”.
Image source: Courtesy of EIB
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