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EBRD plans to invest 80 million euros into Ukrainian bioenergy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, plans to finance an ambitious bioenergy program in Ukraine next year, EBRD officials said in Kyiv on Oct. 16.

Sergiy Maslichenko, Associate Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change for the EBRD in Ukraine, said the bank was preparing to finance 10 or 15 projects with a combined value of 70 to 80 million euros through 2019.

“Ukraine, as an agrarian country, has large production residues, but now they remain in the fields, and therefore we are working on such a project,” he said during an event at the tenth Sustainable Energy Forum in Kyiv.

The program will be jointly financed with the Global Environment Facility and the Clean Technology Fund, Maslichenko added.

EBRD officials will also be working more closely with Ukrainian lawmakers to liberalize laws that relate to bioenergy production, he said.

“We intend to work on improving the regulatory field in this area. We see the potential for our partners in the agricultural sector to prepare for these projects soon, and we will eventually help them with grants,” said Maslichenko at the forum, later quoted by Interfax Ukraine.

As previously reported, the EBRD wants to finance or co-finance up to 20 bioenergy projects throughout Ukraine by 2022 and the new, revised plans outlined on Oct. 16 seem to accelerate that timeline.

Ukraine has significant untapped capacity in bioenergy production, experts say. But the country still faces logistical challenges when it comes to taking advantage of biomass and getting full benefit from the energy potential in vast amounts of agricultural bi-product and waste.

EBRD projects next year will focus on using biomass to produce bioethanol, biogas and bio methane, fuels that have a variety of applications.

On Oct. 16 the EBRD also announced the appointment of Matteo Patrone as new Managing Director for Eastern Europe. Patrone, previously Regional Head for Romania and Bulgaria since Jul. 2015, will take up his new role on Nov. 1.

The new director will take over responsibility for EBRD operations and engagement in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The EBRD’s combined investment in those six countries stands at almost 24 billion euros to date, according to the bank’s most recent updates.