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More Azerbaijani cities may join EBRD’s green program - country head

9 June 2022 10:15 (UTC+04:00)
More Azerbaijani cities may join EBRD’s green program - country head

By Trend

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is eager to work with new eligible cities in the Karabakh region, and to welcome them into EBRD Green Cities program, Kamola Makhmudova, EBRD Country Head for Azerbaijan, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

“According to the initial reports shared by the Ministry of Energy, the Karabakh region has a huge renewable energy potential – around 3,000-4,000 MW of solar energy and 300-500 MW of wind energy. This is encouraging for the renewable energy sector in the country,” she said.

As the official explained, cities under the program need to commit to improving their environmental performance and promoting the transition to green, low-carbon and resilient futures.

“The key criterion for the cities is to commit to the development and implementation of a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) and launch a trigger investment project with the EBRD. In addition, eligible cities need to have a population of at least 50,000 residents. If there was a relevant request, we could look at potential opportunities on a project-by-project basis,” Makhmudova added.

According to the country head, Ganja became the first city in Azerbaijan to join EBRD Green Cities in March 2020. The first-ever project was signed in May 2022 and concerned the solid waste sector. The EBRD works with the Ganja city Executive Power, the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan and other government organizations to develop pilot projects.

The EBRD has already allocated 10 million euros to improve the solid waste collection services in Ganja city with modern and energy-efficient vehicles, specialized containers and bins, digital collection systems and other improvement works.

Currently, the EBRD plans to sign a new street lighting project within the EBRD Green Cities program in Azerbaijan’s Ganja city in the upcoming months.

“As immediate next steps, we hope to sign the Ganja street lighting project and start project preparation works for the development of a modern, EU-compliant landfill near Ganja city,” she said.

For the street lighting project, in addition to the EBRD loan, the Bank has secured a 2.5 million euros investment grant from E5P Fund, supported by the EU and other international donors, the official noted.

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