A general view of Shanghai's financial district of Pudong is seen from the top of the Shanghai Tower © Carlos Barria / Reuters
A rooftop solar power project in China will become the first venture to get financial assistance from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The lender has agreed an $81 million loan.
The financing comes from NDB’s first package of loans, worth a combined $811 million, which was approved by the bank's board in April to fund projects in China, Brazil, India and South Africa.
The project will equip the roofs of office buildings in Shanghai’s industrial parks with solar panels to generate up to 100 MW of electricity for the companies operating there.
"China which is already a world leader in the use of clean energy sources is now to embark on the path of promoting green technologies. In 2015, Beijing invested in renewable energy more than Europe and the United States together. This project is a demonstration of China's green technology commitment," said NDB’s President Kundapur Kamath on Wednesday after the signing ceremony.
Chinese Deputy Finance Minister Yaobin Shi said the project was a good example of "farsightedness and investment in clean technologies" and showed the bank’s commitment to promote infrastructure projects and sustainable development projects among BRICS countries.
The decision to approve the first loans, which are to be handed out in tranches, has been endorsed by the NDB on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC.
The NDB decided to provide $300 million to Brazil, $81 million to China, $250 million to India and $180 million to South Africa.
In Russia, the NDB has financed the construction of two small hydroelectric power stations at the cost of $185 million.
The bank estimates that renewable energy projects with a capacity of 2.37MW can help reduce harmful emissions by 4 million tons annually.
Headquartered in Shanghai, the BRICS bank was founded in 2014 by China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa and officially opened for business a year later. The goal of the bank, with an initial authorized capital of $100 billion, is to fund sustainable development infrastructure projects in emerging economies.