Eolica Bulgaria wind farm, financed under a NIB loan programme to BSTDB (Photo: BSTDB)

Eolica Bulgaria wind farm, financed under a NIB loan programme to BSTDB (Photo: BSTDB)

8 Sep 2011

NIB and BSTDB: cooperation for a cleaner Black Sea region


Cooperation between NIB and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has evolved and expanded over the past seven years to cover various business areas. The most recent loan programme, with a specific environmental focus, has confirmed BSTDB’s place as one of the preferred financial intermediary partners in NIB’s non-member countries.


BSTDB is an international financial institution, established in 1999 by the eleven Black Sea Economic Cooperation countries consisting of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.


NIB has signed three loan programmes with BSTDB to date. The first general loan programme, in the amount of EUR 15 million, was signed in 2004. The second, in the amount of EUR 30 million, was signed in 2009. NIB’s previous loan programmes with BSTDB have been used, for example, in developing energy-efficient public transport in Turkey and a wind farm in Bulgaria.


In June 2011, NIB signed its third long-term loan programme agreement with BSTDB for the amount of EUR 30 million.


“The long-standing cooperation between NIB and BSTDB has sparked a move to more sector-specific cooperation. In line with NIB’s mandate to enhance the environment, the most recent loan programme has a distinct environmental focus,” says Taina Ulkoniemi, Senior Manager, Origination at NIB.


The loan programme has a particular purpose to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the countries around the Black Sea. At least 70% of the funds will thus be directed to renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy saving as well as public transportation projects, with an equivalent part of the loan programme being allocated under NIB’s Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CLEERE)  lending facility.


The remaining 30% of the loan programme canbe allocated to projects involving advanced technologies from NIB’s member states, thus also increasing the competitiveness of NIB’s member area.


“Protecting the environment is a priority for BSTDB and NIB. BSTDB favours operations with a strong positive environmental impact and stands to gain from NIB’s long-term financing, which is essential as environmental and renewable energy projects are relatively large investments with often long payback periods,” says Mustafa Boran, Vice President, Banking at BSTDB.


Furthermore, sharing knowledge, views and best-practices between the environmental experts of BSTDB and NIB is one practical example of increased and mutually beneficial cooperation. That NIB was granted observer status at BSTDB in 2008 is a further testament to the enhanced relationship.


Teaming up these two IFIs means that companies from both regions’ member countries stand to benefit from the pooling of experiences on a practical level. NIB’s and BSTDB’s cooperation is a powerful tool for promoting sustainable growth of both the Baltic and Black Sea regions.


Related resources

Press Release


NIB opens environmental loan facility for Black Sea countries