The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of $25 million to the electricity distribution company Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), the single supplier of electricity in the country, to help safeguard the electricity supply to the population following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is co-financing this project with a $20 million loan.
The loan aims to strengthen ENA’s liquidity and ensure the continued sustainability and high quality of the company’s operations. The investment comes under the EBRD Resilience Framework, a central element of the Bank’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and its economic impact. The €4 billion facility offers existing clients support through the provision of short-term working capital, liquidity and restructuring of exposures.
Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of Armenia, said: “The pandemic has an impact on the economy and the society. ENA’s work is crucial for Armenia’s power sector and for the economy. We are happy to support the company as our strong partner in Armenia.”
“We’re now facing the greatest challenge of our time. The COVID-19 pandemic is much more than a health crisis, it is also a devastating social and economic problem,” said ENA Director General Karen Harutyunyan. “We are so grateful to our partners for their commitment and great assistance in this difficult period.”
The EBRD has been cooperating with ENA for over a decade and the Bank has committed $80 million to support the company. The funds have helped to finance energy efficiency measures, including an upgrade and modernisation of the low-voltage infrastructure to reduce losses and the installation of meters to improve the quality of supply. The support was crucial in helping to increase the overall efficiency of the power distribution system in Armenia, reduce network losses and improve the quality of power supply.
The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Armenia, active in all sectors of the economy. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1992, the Bank has invested €1.36 billion in 178 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 90 per cent of investments in the private sector.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic the EBRD has approved two Solidarity Packages and now expects to dedicate the entirety of its business investments in 2020-21 of up to €21 billion to overcome the crisis and support the recovery.