Kyiv's Shevchenko University / Photo from

Two donor agreements for projects in Ukraine have been signed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and E5P, a multi-donor fund supporting municipal investment in energy efficiency and environmental projects in the Eastern Partnership countries with a EUR 180 million budget.

"A EUR 10 million grant aims to improve energy efficiency in seven universities that are part of the Ukraine Higher Education project, while EUR 6.4 million will support the modernization of the municipality-owned district heating system in Kryvy Rih in Southern Ukraine," EIB's press service said in a statement.

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In both cases, the E5P grants will be instrumental in helping implement projects that receive loans from the EIB and other financial institutions and that are actively promoted by the Ukrainian authorities.

The Ukraine Higher Education project focuses on the refurbishment of teaching, research and support facilities at a number of Ukraine's state universities, including the first seven – in Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv, Poltava, Sumy and Vinnytsa – to be identified at the appraisal stage. The EIB and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) are supporting the project with EUR 120 million and EUR 30 million loans respectively.

The financing will help universities to achieve the highest educational and research standards by improving their energy efficiency and consumption, with positive environmental impacts. In particular, the higher education institutions will modernize their heat, ventilation and lighting facilities, improving the quality of the academic environment and achieving energy savings. The environmental benefits will be achieved through the application of modern, energy efficient equipment and control systems, which the E5P grant will help to purchase and introduce.

The modernization of district heating systems in Kryvy Rih is part of the Ukraine Municipal Infrastructure Program, promoted by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine. Under this program, an EIB loan of EUR 400 million will cover investment in various sectors, including energy efficiency, water supply, wastewater and solid waste management.

The objective of the Kryvy Rih project is to ensure an environmentally sound and financially sustainable heating supply. The investment will ultimately help to increase energy efficiency; reduce carbon dioxide emissions and environmental impact with an expected decrease of carbon dioxide of more than 220,000 tonnes; and improve customer service.

The E5P grant targets demand-side measures and will finance, in particular, the installation of individual heating substations and associated meters on a building-by-building level. As a result, the residents of Kryvy Rih will enjoy an effective heating service and benefit from improved metering and automation, as well as reduced energy use. The total investment of EUR 38 million will be partially covered by a EUR 31.6 million EIB loan and will be accompanied by technical assistance support to improve the capacity building of the utility.