ADB Invests to Help Drive Energy Efficiency in Southeast Asia

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Hospitals, hotels, shopping malls, and many other businesses in Southeast Asian countries are expected to adopt cost-effective, energy-saving solutions once positive results are demonstrated through pioneering energy efficiency projects funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB today signed a multicurrency loan worth $20 million for energy efficiency projects to be invested by Cofely Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd, a unit of France’s GDF Suez. This innovative and flexible loan allows Cofely Southeast Asia to decide at each draw-down whether it needs Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit, or Philippine pesos in order to match the currency with the location of its energy efficiency investments.

“The energy and infrastructure investment choices that Southeast Asian countries make today will have important implications for climate change in the region over the long term. Energy efficiency projects offer the most cost-effective and low-risk opportunities for climate change mitigation,” said Todd Freeland, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

Through the loan, ADB is supporting Cofely’s plan to invest in building, upgrading, and expanding energy efficiency infrastructure across the region. Investment in energy efficiency in Southeast Asia’s factories and other buildings is falling far short of the cost-effective potential. Key hurdles to scaling up investment include a lack of awareness among business leaders and a lack of skilled experts and companies to help develop and manage energy efficiency projects.

Cofely addresses these barriers through a successful business model that has proven effective in the US, Europe, and a number of other markets. Its energy efficiency services approach comprises a full suite of services, including financing for the design and delivery of energy savings, as well as the subsequent measurement and verification of results.

This ADB assistance will catalyze direct investments in small energy efficiency projects by encouraging the transfer of technical expertise and highlighting the private sector opportunity in the development and financing of energy efficiency projects.  The investments resulting from this initiative will save a projected 150,000 megawatt hours of energy, avoid 90,000 tons of carbon emissions, and yield average annual net savings of $10 million by 2019.

At the same time, ADB is implementing a $600,000 technical assistance that will raise awareness about energy efficiency by bringing senior business owners and leaders from the Southeast Asian region together to discuss the role energy efficiency can play in improving business and sustaining growing economies. As part of this initiative, ADB has scheduled workshops on energy efficiency services for senior executives over the next two months in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh.