BELGRADE (Serbia), September 15 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a 40 million euro ($47 million) loan to Serbian state-run power distribution company Elektrodistribucija Srbije (EDS) to finance the roll-out of smart metering infrastructure, it said.
The loan proceeds will be used for the first phase of smart meter deployment, such as the installation of software and hardware, and integration of the new system and around 205,000 smart meters are expected to be installed in Kraljevo, Cacak and Nis, the EBRD said in a statement on Tuesday.
"One of our key priorities for Serbia in the energy sector is to introduce technologies which can improve energy efficiency and reduce the country’s emissions intensity, and we are glad that this investment with EDS will bring us a step closer to reaching these objectives," Nandita Parshad, managing director, sustainable infrastructure group, EBRD, said.
The investment will improve the security and reliability of the power supply, reduce commercial losses and improve tariff collection rates, while the expected reduction in technical losses, due to old equipment, will lead to carbon dioxide emissions savings of 5,000 tonnes each year, the EBRD noted.
"We are very pleased to be starting the implementation of this important project which will lead to optimisation of network and costs savings for our company. We look forward to seeing the results of the rollout of the first phase and to continue to work on improving and modernising our network and services," EDS business system director Sasa Stefanovic said.
The smart metering infrastructure will also encourage new renewable energy projects and help to integrate prosumers into the power distribution system, in line with Serbia's new law on renewable energy sources.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia and has invested more than 6.7 billion euro across 289 projects in the country to date.
($ = 0.8469 euro)