23.08.2023 | Case | Eastern Europe | Energy Efficiency | Street Lighting | Moldova
Nefco’s second implemented energy-efficiency project in Moldova has supported the modernisation of street lighting in the city of Ungheni, which is situated in the western part of the country. The project has resulted in reduced energy usage and budgetary expenditure, and provided an extended illumination network for the inhabitants, increasing security and comfort for pedestrians and vehicles.
The city of Ungheni, located near the border of Romania, is Moldova’s seventh-largest city with some 35,000 inhabitants. For many years, the municipality suffered from a worn-out and outdated street lighting system built during the Soviet era which, since then, has undergone only partial renovations and was never properly modernised to meet the latest energy-efficiency standards. This resulted in excessive municipal expenses for electricity usage. Several streets also lacked any illumination at all, making them unsafe for the inhabitants to walk and drive along in the dark.
The city of Ungheni and Nefco began their collaboration at the end of 2020 and signed a loan agreement to modernise the city’s street lighting system. Active construction works began in November 2021 and were completed within approximately one year, in October 2022. The implemented energy-efficiency measures included the replacement of outdated and inefficient lamps with 1,500 new LED lamps, the installation of new lamp poles with some 1,000 luminaries on streets that previously lacked any lighting and new installed automatic control cabinets.
“This project has already provided visible and tangible benefits for the community of Ungheni by implementing modern and energy-efficient lighting and bringing safety to the streets. We are currently financing five new energy-efficiency projects in Moldova and looking forwards to further collaboration with the Moldovan communities to support the green transition in the country,” explains Vitaly Artyuschenko, Chief Investment Adviser at Nefco.
The total project budget was about MDL 7.3 million (EUR 373,000). Approximately MDL 6.3 million (EUR 324,000) was provided by a Nefco loan and about MDL 1 million (EUR 49,000) was a local contribution from the municipality.
The measures introduced are having a significant positive impact on the city. The longer operational life of modern LED lamps has reduced both the maintenance costs and electricity consumption. The city’s electricity usage is estimated to have decreased by approximately 1,100 MWh annually, resulting in about MDL 6.3 million in annual local budget savings (approx. EUR 324,000). The modernised street lighting network also helps to prevent car accidents with pedestrians and improve the overall quality of life for the inhabitants in Ungheni.
The Energy Saving Credits (ESC) loan programme was launched in Moldova in 2019, supporting small-scale investments in projects connected with energy-efficiency measures in social facilities such as day-care centres, schools and hospitals, as well as in street lighting. The first Nefco-financed project in the country, the modernisation of the street lighting in the village of Festelita, was completed in 2021. Nefco is currently financing the first joint energy-efficiency programme in Moldova with the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) with the aim of supporting the refurbishment of healthcare institutions in four major districts: Floresti, Ialoveni, Nisporeni and Telenesti.