Belgrade, Serbia, October 17, 2017-IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and EBRD are helping Serbia boost its renewable energy production and improve its energy mix by providing a €215 million lending package to a joint venture developing a 158-megawatt wind farm, the largest in the Western Balkans.
The €300 million Cibuk 1 wind farm will cover 37 square kilometres in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. Part of the Vetroelektrane Balkana project, it is a 60:40 partnership between Abu Dhabi Future Company Masdar, from the United Arab Emirates, and Cibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of US-based developer Continental Wind Partners.
IFC's €107.7 million financing package comprises a direct €52.7 million senior loan, a €36.7 million loan provided through its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and a €18.3 million B loan under IFC's syndication umbrella. At the same time, the EBRD is providing a €107.7 million syndicated loan under an A/B loan structure
The project will comprise 57 wind turbines supplied by General Electric and is expected to improve electricity for some 113,000 homes and businesses. The Cibuk 1 wind farm is due for completion by early 2019.
'The development of the largest wind farm in Serbia and the Western Balkans is a pivotal moment for the expansion of renewables in Eastern Europe and positions Serbia at the forefront of Europe's fastest growing alternative energy sector,' said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. 'We are proud to have this opportunity to contribute our expertise and experience acquired over the last 11 years to the diversification of Serbia's energy mix, working alongside our joint-venture partners.'
With 70 per cent of its electricity generation stemming from older coal-fired plants, Serbia is among the largest greenhouse gas emitters per capita in Europe. The project will help diversify Serbia's aged and highly pollutant generation mix, and reduce an estimated 370,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
'This project highlights IFC's creating markets strategy, paving the way for other renewable energy projects. It is a result of our cooperation with all stakeholders and our work with Serbia's government to improve relevant bylaws and the model power purchase agreement,' said Thomas Lubeck, IFC's Regional Manager for Central and Southeastern Europe. 'IFC is a global leader in facilitating cross border investments and our support for renewable energy is a key part of our work to help mitigate climate change.'
Besides helping to minimise the environmental impact of Serbia's power sector, Cibuk 1 represents a significant economic investment, with the project expected to create as many as 400 jobs during its construction, as well as improve local infrastructure with 50 kilometres worth of new roads.
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director of Power and Energy Utilities, commented: 'The Èibuk wind farm is a breakthrough for Serbia as the country works to meet its commitment to produce 27 per cent of domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. The EBRD has worked closely with the government to develop and refine the regulatory framework for the sector and these efforts have now unlocked job-generating foreign investment and the first wave of renewable-energy projects.'
About IFC IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
The EBRD is a multilateral bank that promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiative in 37 economies across three continents. The Bank is owned by 66 countries as well as the EU and the EIB. EBRD investments are aimed at making the economies in its regions competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilientand integrated. Follow us on the web, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube.
Masdar is Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company which works to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today's fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future. Wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the Emirates' long-term vision for the future of energy and water. For more information please visit: http://www.masdar.aeand connect:facebook.com/masdar.aeandtwitter.com/masdar
About Cibuk Wind Holding
Cibuk Wind Holdings is a company ultimately held by Fabrizio Gagnasso, a founding partner of Continental Wind Partners, the original developer of the Cibuk 1 wind farm. Continental Wind Partners are best known for developing the largest operational wind farm in Europe, the 600 MW Fantanele/Cogealac wind farm in Romania.
About Vetroelekrane Balkana
Vetroelekrane Balkana is a joint venture owned 60% by Masdar and 40% by Cibuk Wind Holding responsible for the development, execution and operation of the Chibuk 1 wind farm.