The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing $4 million for a pilot project which will enable Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, to modernise its street lighting system by introducing new energy-efficient technologies.
The EBRD’s sovereign loan will be on-lent to the Street Lighting Company owned by the city of Yerevan. The loan is expected to be complemented by a capital grant of up to $2 million from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P). Technical cooperation for project preparation was financed by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the EBRD’s own resources.
Yerevan has a population of 1.1 million, roughly one-third of the total population of Armenia, and the street lighting network consists of old, inefficient and environmentally polluting mercury-based lights. The heavy-metal based content of the current lighting system contributes to energy waste and is a considerable environmental hazard. Due to the antiquated condition of the current system and the high percentage of lights that are not working, large parts of the city are not sufficiently illuminated.
To overcome this problem the pilot project will introduce new energy-efficient LED lighting, a control and monitoring system, pole replacement and renovation as well as power cable replacement. This will result in better service quality and improved environmental standards due to reduced energy consumption and the minimisation of operating and maintenance costs. Lighter streets will also be safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Mark Davis, EBRD Head of Office in Yerevan, said: “We welcome this project and are pleased to support it with financial means as well as technical assistance. The new street lighting will contribute to Yerevan’s goal of reducing its CO2 emissions, while at the same time significantly reducing the city’s energy bill. In addition, the project will contribute to the comfort and safety of residents.”
Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over €900 million in more than 135 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 87 per cent of investments being in the private sector.