AFD allocates Rs 2 billion to Mauritius for clean energy
The loan of 50 million euros has been provided to fund concrete and innovative energy efficiency projects and support government efforts to diversify the energy mix, currently largely reliant on coal. (Image: AFD)
The renewable energy sector of the island economy just got a new lease on life, with approval of Rs 2 billion worth of funding for sustainable development projects by the AFD.
The Agence Francaise de Developpement, or French Development Agency, sanctioned a 50 million euros credit line to Mauritius as funding assistance for sustainable development projects in the energy sector.
The loan comes together with a technical assistance facility in the form of a grant of around 1.5 million euros, approximately Rs 60 million, to provide for expertise in the green energy sector.
The loan will be disbursed in two tranches – 20 million euros in 2013 and 30 million euros in 2014 – to fund concrete and innovative energy efficiency projects.
Besides, the loan will be used to support the government’s efforts towards diversifying the energy sector, as well as developing and promoting energy regulation projects and renewable energy projects that have a positive impact on the environment, the economy and the well-being of Mauritians.
With a target of achieving 35% renewable energy levels in the energy mix, which currently comprises only 20% renewable energy , the island economy needs all the help it can get towards ensuring a more sustainable energy ecosystem.
The financing agreement was signed last week by Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, French Ambassador in Mauritius, Laurent Garnier, as well as AFD’s director Laurence Breton-Moyet.
It will complement the Environment Aid Programme (APE) initiated in 2009 by the AFD, a support programme to the Maurice Ile Durable sustainable development project.
The APE program focuses on energy, transport, town and country planning, biodiversity and adaptation to climate change.
The grant of Rs 60 million is expected to help the AFD provide international technical expertise in the field of renewable energy to the ministry of Energy and Public Utilities. This will enable smoother implementation of energy related policies and projects.
Moreover, it will aid in preparing a programme for green public buildings, structuring financial assistance for households to purchase energy efficient domestic equipment and mounting a national programme for energy efficiency practices in enterprises.
Since 2007, about Rs 6.7 billion have been provided to Mauritius in the form of loans and grants from the AFD.
Established in 1941, this bi-lateral development finance institution works on behalf of the French government and operates mainly in the fields of environment and energy, public infrastructure, regional cooperation and support to the private sector.
AFD is also providing assistance in economic diversification and helping in preparing the country for the next stage of development within the context of a growing and more sustainable globalisation.