European bank invites consultants for Bulgaria

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) seeks expressions of interest from consultants for an energy efficiency and renewables program that includes small hydro. Responses are due September 4.

The EBRD program is intended to help Bulgaria finance private sector energy investments to mitigate for the reduced generating capacity resulting from a plan to decommission the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Participating banks would lend money from EBRD to private firms to improve energy efficiency and to develop renewable energy projects including small hydro.

The bank seeks an “IEE Consultant,” an Independent Energy Expert to ensure that objectives of the funding program are met by confirming the eligibility of projects against program criteria.

Eligible renewable energy projects include small run-of-river hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal investments. Eligible energy efficiency projects include restructuring, upgrading, and modernization of demand-side industrial assets to include combined heat and power, upgraded utility systems, heat recovery plants, automation and control for processes and utilities, process optimization, and fuel switching.

Consultants would begin work January 1, 2007, and work for at least 2.5 years. Maximum budget available is 400,000 euros (US$512,000).

Expressions of interest and qualifications, in English, are due by September 4 to EBRD via its eSelection program on the Internet: Qualified firms will be short-listed and invited to submit proposals. For information, see the EBRD Internet site,

EBRD lends US$25.6 million for Bulgarian program

EBRD also announced it is lending 20 million euros (US$25.6 million) to Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD to help promote the energy efficiency and renewables program. The loan will enable the bank to on-lend financing to private sector energy efficiency and renewables projects, including run-of-river hydropower.

Under the program, clients investing in renewable energy projects will be eligible for a 20 percent rebate on the sub-loan amount.

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