The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending over US$114 million in a partial credit guarantee program to support energy-efficient projects in China, the Manila-based bank said Saturday.
The pilot program, which is the ADB's first credit guarantee to mobilize commercial financing in China, will initially target energy efficiency projects for buildings in southern and eastern China, the more industrialized part of the country.
"It is the only project so far of this scale in energy efficiency in China and the first one in any ADB member," Seethapathy Chander, deputy director general of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department, told Xinhua.
The program will support the retrofitting of existing buildings, typically leading to energy savings of 20 percent to 40 percent. The program will also support energy efficient "green buildings."
Given China's rapid urbanization, energy efficiency of buildings will have long-lasting and large cumulative effects of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, the ADB said in a statement released on the sideline of an annual meeting of the bank, which kicked off on Saturday.
Chander said the ADB chose China, one of the bank's 67 members, because the country is becoming one of the largest energy consumers in the world.
"Energy demand in China is growing rapidly to support its economic growth. This program will enhance access to domestic finance by a large number of energy end users in China for more efficient energy use in existing and new buildings," the ADB said.
Standard Chartered Bank had been selected as the partner financial institution in the program, the first commercial bank to cooperate with the ADB on the Energy Efficiency Multi-Project Financing Program, which was initiated by the ADB to expand its operations in energy efficiency and clean energy to at least 1 billion U.S. dollars a year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 4, 2008)