European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was established in 1991 following the collapse of Russia, is owned by 61 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank. The EBRD invests in "29 countries from central Europe to central Asia to support the development of market economies and democracies."
Funding coal projects
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development funded the Belchatow 2 Power Station, a 833 megawatts coal-fired power station project proposed by Alstom for Elektrownia Belchatow. Alstom states on its website that "the project represents a major step in upgrading existing generating assets in Poland to ensure that they meet EU environmental legislation post 2008, notably requirements of the EU Large Combustion Plant and IPPC directives. The project is also an integral part of Polish governmental energy security program."
In June 2011, AES Corp. commissioned the €1.2 billion ($1.74 billion) Maritza East Power Station coal plant in southern Bulgaria. Plant officials said that initial capacity will be 420 megawatts and the plant will reach 600 megawatts by the end of the year, which amounts to 9 percent of Bulgaria’s installed power capacity. The plant will get its coal through a 15-year lignite supply agreement with the state-owned mining company, Maritsa East Mines, and a 15-year power purchase agreement with Bulgaria’s state-owned electricity monopoly, NEC. Funding was provided by a group of banks led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Overall fossil fuel funding
The 2011 Bankwatch report, "Carbon rising: European Investment Bank energy lending 2007-2010", found that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had significantly increased its loans to fossil fuels between 2006 and 2010, particularly natural gas, as gas loans rose 10-fold to €929m between 2006 and 2009, before falling back to €435m in 2010.
A 2012 Bankwatch report, "Tug of War: Fossil fuels vs. green energy at the EBRD," found that EBRD lending to fossil fuel projects -- coal, oil and gas -- accounted for 48 percent of the bank's energy-related investments between 2006 and 2011. Seventy percent of EBRD's energy lending went outside the European Union to countries such as Russia and Ukraine, but the new EU states such as Poland and Hungary account for around 80 percent of its renewables lending.
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Articles and resources
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "How we are funded", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development website, accessed July 2011.
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "About the EBRD: factsheet", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, April 1, 2010.
- Alstom, "Alstom to supply the largest clean coal power plant ever built in Poland", Alstom website, October 16, 2006.
- Alstom, "Belchatow", Alstom website, accessed July 2008.
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Belchatow II: Environmental Impact Assessment, August 2005.
- "AES starts operation of its 600-megawatt power plant in Bulgaria" AP, June 3, 2011.
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