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Belarusian Businesses Can Cut Energy Costs By 20 Percent, IFC Study Finds


In Minsk:
Nadezhda Sinelnik
Phone: +37517 2281838
E-mail: NSinelnik@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7495 411 7555
E-mail:
NBukova@ifc.org


Minsk, Belarus, May 6, 2009—Leading Belarusian companies have the ability to significantly reduce their energy costs , which could increase their global competitiveness over the next few years, according to a new report from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

Belarus can take advantage of its energy-efficiency potential by decreasing the energy intensity of its economy, increasing industrial competitiveness, and contributing to a cleaner environment, according to the report, which was based on a survey of 125 local companies. The survey showed that companies remain reluctant to approach banks and leasing companies to seek financing for energy-efficiency projects—even though 86 percent of the companies that sought financing were able to obtain it.

The report, “Energy Efficiency in Belarus,” says that industrial enterprises can finance and implement increasingly ambitious energy-efficiency action plans that would allow them to reduce their energy costs by at least 20 percent within three years.

The report is based on a study conducted by IFC in 2008. It is designed to provide state officials, the business community, and other interested parties with a comprehensive analysis of Belarus’ energy-efficiency potential, and makes recommendations for tapping that potential. IFC recommends improving awareness of ways to achieve energy efficiency, reducing the bureaucratic burden on enterprises, and utilizing external financing for acquiring energy-efficient equipment.

"Belarusian industry is underestimating the significant energy-efficiency potential and the funds they could save by improving their energy consumption,” said Bryanne Tait, who oversees Environmental & Social Sustainability for IFC in Europe and Central Asia.  “To tap this potential, industrial enterprises need to increase their expertise on energy efficiency. The government should also become much more engaged in improving the regulatory environment to foster energy efficiency, thus helping to ensure the country's sustainable growth and energy security."

Belarus became a shareholder and a member of the IFC in 1992. Since then, IFC has implemented several advisory projects and has invested more than $185 million in the financial and real sectors. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/europe/belarus.

The report is available online at: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/ueep.nsf/Content/ProgramMaterials.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.