IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a $20m financing agreement to launch Banco BHD’s new energy efficiency finance program to help Dominican firms decrease their energy costs and consumption, implement clean production projects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is IFC’s third financing to Banco BHD, a private bank in the Dominican Republic and an IFC client.

With IFC’s support, BHD will finance energy efficiency projects in the industrial and tourism sectors in the Dominican Republic. This is expected help generate savings, increase companies’ competitiveness and grow awareness for climate change-related business opportunities.

In addition to financing, IFC will also provide advisory services to help Banco BHD create a new energy efficiency unit that will develop a project pipeline, conduct energy audits for clients and identify new energy efficiency investments.

IFC said that its approach in the Dominican Republic focuses on improving the business climate, strengthening infrastructure, increasing access to finance and promoting sustainability. It further said that supporting BHD’s energy efficiency finance program is in line with its strategy.

Lars Thunell, CEO and executive vice president of IFC, said: “Today we inaugurate IFC’s first energy efficiency finance program in the Caribbean, which underscores the innovative leadership of BHD in the region’s financial sector.

”Our partnership with BHD will bring Dominican firms economic and environmental benefits. Not only is this smart business, but it also underlines the role the private sector can play in improving competitiveness and mitigating global climate change at the same time.”