March 29 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) and employer organisations are discussing future structural tools for bridge financing and co-financing of projects under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the national Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), the state-owned lender said on Wednesday.
Focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), the bank is looking to ensure financial backing for Bulgarian companies applying for grants under energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and technological innovation programmes supported by the two EU funds, BDB said in a press release.
In terms of bridge loans, BDB plans to finance both applicants with projects under ESIF and RRP that have been approved, but also rejected or in the waiting list.
BDB is also exploring the possibility of financing construction companies with agreed contracts to carry out energy efficiency upgrades of building stock. In such cases, the bank will not lend to the direct recipient of the grant - such as the state
administration, municipalities or residential associations, but will provide loans to the contractors carrying out construction works. The proposed measure will provide a financial resource to contractors, contributing to the timely completion of projects and accelerating renewal of the building stock in the country, BDB noted.
The development lender is also ready to on-lend through financial institutions to guarantee access by households to grants for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for electricity or water heating.
In December, Bulgaria received the first instalment amounting to 1.37 billion euro ($1.5 billion) out of the EU-approved national recovery plan worth a total of 5.69 billion euro.
Bulgarian businesses are eligible to apply for grants under a new EU-backed programme totalling 235 million levs ($130.2 million/120.3 million euro) designed to support investment projects that improve the energy efficiency of building stock, the regional development ministry said in January. Local companies are also applying under a 200 million levs EU-backed grant for the development of solar photovoltaic and battery storage projects.
Bulgaria will also disburse close to 70 million levs including state co-financing to help local households install photovoltaic systems up to 10 kWp.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)