MUSCAT, 24 September 2019
Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in association with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has launched Oman’s first Green Finance scheme for environment-friendly homes. The scheme will encourage customers to install solar panels on their rooftops and use solar energy for a large part of their household energy requirements. The installation of solar panels will be facilitated through the Sahim renewable energy project of the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER).
The Green Finance scheme is intended not only to reduce energy costs and be environment friendly, but also contribute to reducing dependency on traditional sources of energy like diesel and natural gas thereby creating a sustainable future for the Sultanate. The bank will thus serve as a lead catalyst in the Sultanate to increase awareness on energy cost reductions and take strategic actions toward sustainability as well as promote sustainable consumer practices and decisions.
The bank has drawn up a wide-ranging programme to conserve energy and protect the environment. This unique initiative reflects the bank’s commitment to responsible banking and its contributions to the country’s overall progress and development.
Abdullah Tamman Al Mashani, DGM – Institutional Sales and Product Development, Bank Muscat, said: “The Green Finance programme is aimed at providing credit facility to customers to encourage them to implement environmentally friendly initiatives. We have launched this programme in cooperation with the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER). The bank will extend credit to its customers to install solar panels on their rooftops and use solar energy for a large part of their household requirements. It will be implemented through AER’s Sahim initiative and will greatly contribute to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years.”
Bank Muscat is the first and only bank in Oman to launch a loan scheme that aims to popularise environmental-friendly initiatives. Under the new finance scheme, loans ranging from RO 1,000 to RO 25,000 will be given to eligible individuals at highly competitive interest rates subject to a maximum debt burden ratio (DBR) of 50%. Loans will be given under the scheme for a maximum of 5 years.
The sustainability strategy pursued by Bank Muscat is focused on delivering long-term benefits to the community and the nation. Leading by example is the forte of Bank Muscat as different initiatives make lasting contributions to society and the nation. Green products are aimed at helping citizens to invest for their future whereby they can reduce energy consumption costs as well as contribute to sustainable environment in the country. Implementing environmentally-friendly methods will also help the government in reducing subsidies as well as saving traditional energy sources for projects of national importance. The push for renewable sources of energy will also provide new business opportunities for SMEs, thereby also contributing positively to the overall business environment in the country.
Earlier in 2018, Meethaq Islamic Banking from Bank Muscat became the first bank in the Sultanate to fully operate a branch on renewable energy. The rooftop solar panel installation at Meethaq’s Al Khoud branch has the capacity to produce 50 kW electricity and helps reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 52.56 tonnes per year. Nafath Renewable Energy, a leading SME player in energy conservation, implemented the project.