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World Bank and IFC Looking at Financing Balkan Energy Projects

The World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Financing Corporation, are ready to finance energy projects in the Balkans, home to some of Europe’s few untapped renewable sources.

“The Balkans is one of a few regions in Europe with a number of undeveloped sites” for making power from renewable sources, while more developed parts of the continent are “prepared to pay a rather high price for the supply,” Loup Brefort, the World Bank’s representative in Serbia, said at a business forum in Belgrade today. Public-private partnerships and joint ventures are probably the best way to develop such projects, he said.

The Washington-based lender could finance the public part of such partnerships, while the IFC could provide financing needed for the private portion, Brefort said.

The investments would help the region deal with an economic slump and create jobs amid high unemployment, he said. “The governments in the region should welcome foreign investors with open arms because it’s a win-win, for the countries and for the investors.”

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