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  • Six kindergartens in Yerevan are to be refurbished for greater energy efficiency and earthquake resilience
  • The effort is a part of the €15 million Yerevan Energy Efficiency Project supported by the EIB (the EU’s bank), the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) via UNDP and the Municipality of Yerevan
  • The energy efficiency measures under €15 million financing package will help make up to 90 of kindergartens in Yerevan more comfortable and safe for children and staff

Six additional kindergartens in Armenia’s capital Yerevan will be undergoing deep renovation including seismic strengthening and energy efficiency measures co-funded by a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the European Union (EU), a grant from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), a technical assistance grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and own funds of the Municipality of Yerevan. Today, Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan signed the contracts for overhauling municipal kindergartens with two contractor organisations: Arpa Sevan (for kindergartens #22, 23, 47 and 48) and ArHov Shin (for kindergartens #71 and 74).

The children and staff at the Yerevan kindergartens will benefit from improved facilities, such as better insulated walls, roofs and ceilings, new windows and doors, reinforced stairs and repaired heating, cooling and ventilation systems. The buildings will be adapted for people with locomotor disabilities.

The six kindergartens are among the first of 90 kindergartens in the Armenian capital that will be refurbished to improve their energy efficiency, seismic stability and sanitary conditions in the context of the COVID-19 situation. The effort is part of the Yerevan Energy Efficiency Project worth €15 million, in which an EIB loan of €7 million is being complemented by a €5 million grant from the E5P, a technical assistance grant of €1 million from the Green Climate Fund via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yerevan Municipality’s own funds of €2 million.

The E5P grant will help Armenia improve energy efficiency, contributing to energy security and economic competitiveness, while having a positive impact on the environment. The European Union is the largest contributor to the E5P Fund in Armenia, with €10 million pledged. Other contributors include Sweden (€7 million), Germany (€4 million), Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Lithuania and the Taiwan Business EBRD TA Fund. Armenia is also an E5P donor with a contribution of €1 million.

On top of a much safer and more comfortable environment, the EIB supported Yerevan Energy Efficiency Project will result in primary energy savings of 12 154 MWh a year, reduce CO2 emissions by 2 412 tonnes a year and significantly decrease other greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change mitigation.

EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Armenia, said: As the EU climate bank, the EIB is happy to be supporting the energy efficiency refurbishment of kindergartens in Yerevan. Together with the EU supported E5P Fund and with the Green Climate Fund technical assistance implemented by UNDP, we are making a real difference for the people of Armenia. The comprehensive refurbishment and seismic strenghtening of buildings will provide a safer and more comfortable environment for children and teaching staff, while also mitigating climate change through the various energy efficiency measures. This pilot project has a high demonstration effect and the EIB stands ready to scale it up to other public buildings in Yerevan and to other cities in Armenia”.

The Mayor of Yerevan Hayk Marutyan said: “Today we are going to sign the contracts for the renovation of additional 6 kindergartens, thus ensuring the continuous implementation of Yerevan Energy Efficiency Project. I would like to give a special thanks to the European Investment Bank as our main partner and lender who initiated this very important project for Yerevan. First of all, our children, our future generation will have the opportunity to attend overhauled kindergartens which are safe and seismically resilient. Secondly, the buildings will be adapted for people with mobility problems and will comply with the energy efficiency and sanitary norms, which is very important especially in this epidemic situation. And finally, it is the first non-sovereign loan of the city of Yerevan, due to the effective implementation of which we will have the opportunity to receive similar non-sovereign loans and implement new projects. Without the EIB lending and the grant investments of E5P Fund and Green Climate Fund, the city of Yerevan would never have an opportunity to carry out seismic upgrade and renovation of kindergartens.”

The European Union Ambassador to Armenia, Andrea Wiktorin, said “We are very glad to see this initiative progressing well. In 2018 we signed an E5P agreement to fully renovate 15 kindergartens and renovate 75 of them. Thanks to those signatures today, six kindergartens will be refurbished to ensure their energy efficiency and earthquake resilience, to keep children safe. European Union is committed to tackle climate and environmental challenges as stipulated in the Green Deal. Energy Efficiency is an important pillar of the EU-Armenia CEPA agreement as well as EU’s environmental goals and together we can achieve the targets set in both documents for the benefit of the Armenian population.”

The Ambassador of Sweden to Armenia Patrik Svensson said: “Globally more resources are spent than necessary due to poor insulation, inefficient lighting, appliances, heating and cooling equipment – money and energy that we could save by investing in energy efficiency. This project is an opportunity to close these gaps in Armenia. Sweden has identified energy efficiency as one of our main priorities and sees it as a central instrument to achieve higher levels of sustainability. With ambitious targets set in the Energy Agreement and Climate Framework, we aim to become a zero-net carbon economy by 2045. As we invest in this area within Sweden, it is also our responsibility and desire to help build an energy efficient infrastructure throughout the world. The E5P Fund was initiated during the Swedish presidency of the EU in 2009, and we are happy that our priorities continue to be reflected. Sweden is also the largest bilateral donor and has contributed around €6.9 million to various E5P projects in Armenia. We hope this specific project will lead to a much bigger momentum towards energy efficiency in Armenia and attract more stakeholders to a cause that benefits everyone.

The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) Fund, Ewa Manik said: “The €5 million investment grant from the E5P fund will go a long way to improve the energy savings in Yerevan kindergartens and pioneer further public buildings investments in the City and across Armenia. Donors to E5P, which include the European Union, as the largest, and 10 other countries have allocated over €23 million in grant funds specifically for Armenia to boost the country's municipal sector investments, which will be crucial for economic and social recovery.” 

Mihaela Stojkoska, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Armenia said: “UNDP in Armenia acknowledges the significance of energy efficient retrofitting of public buildings aimed to increase energy security, improve comfort level for local population, contribute to the long-term maintenance of public buildings and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Armenia. We have been continuously providing technical assistance to the Yerevan Municipality as part of our project to retrofit public buildings in Armenia, funded by the Green Climate Fund. To name a few, seismic upgrade analysis was developed for 49 kindergartens, as well as energy audits was conducted for 46 kindergartens. We are also actively cooperating with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure within the framework of state subvention program: more than 100 buildings’ energy efficient retrofits are under implementation in the regions, while about 30 multi-apartment residential buildings will be completed this year.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) in the Eastern Neighbourhood countries

The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The EIB’s activities in the region support the goals set up by the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy. The Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries share common goals and challenges. EIB’s projects in the EU's Eastern neighbourhood contribute to an inclusive and fair economy to build back better for present and future generations. The EIB is deeply committed to supporting partner countries in moving towards a more sustainable climate-sensitive world that is respectful of natural resources and promotes resilient societies.

The EIB has worked with Armenia since 2010, providing financing for a wide range of projects, from infrastructure and small businesses to water supply services and wastewater treatment as well as cross-border connections to build safer and more sustainable roads. The EIB also supports small businesses and promotes the development of the private sector, as well as creating and securing employment and income in rural areas (focusing notably on agro-industry and sustainable tourism), interventions coupled with technical assistance. In close partnership with the Municipality of Yerevan, the Bank is improving the energy efficiency of kindergartens and other buildings. The installation of renewable energy systems, earthquake reinforcement and disabled access infrastructure will provide jobs and help decrease CO2 emissions. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIB is engaged in finding solutions for the EaP countries and working towards their economic recovery.

The Yerevan Energy Efficiency Project is implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and aims to address the refurbishment of public buildings (kindergartens) and the use of renewable energy sources. The project includes a mix of deep renovations (comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and the refurbishment of building envelopes) as well as soft measures (internal lighting and energy infrastructure, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and on-site use of renewable energy sources). This €15 million investment is financed by an EIB loan of €7 million, an E5P grant of € 5 million, a technical assistance grant of €1 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) via UNDP and Yerevan Municipality’s own funds of €2 million. Additional technical assistance grants came from the EU community aid programmes (€250 000), Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund grants (€250 000) and EIB internal resources (€50 000).

Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) is a multi-donor, multi-agency fund initiated during the Swedish Presidency of the European Union in 2009. It aims to support high impact energy efficiency and environmental projects in the Eastern Partnership countries. The E5P fund of over €243 million merges financial contributions from the European Union and a group of over 24 countries. The European Union is the largest contributor having pledged €94.4 million, while Sweden is the largest bilateral contributor with €66 million.