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EBRD Approves 60 Mln Euro Syndicated Loan to Eolica Bulgaria Wind Farm Project

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 15 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstructon and Development (EBRD) said on Friday it will support a wind farm project of Bulgarian renewable energy company Eolica Bulgaria, part of Spanish renewable energy developer Enhol Group, in northeastern Bulgaria with a 60 million euro ($86 million) syndicated loan.

EBRD issued the following statement:

“The EBRD is supporting the development of renewable energy in Bulgaria with a €60 million syndicated loan to Eolica Bulgaria to finance the development of the Suvorovo wind farm, in the north-eastern region of the country.

Similar to many countries in the region, Bulgaria relies significantly on thermal and nuclear sources to satisfy its power needs, with less than 10 per cent of its electricity generated from renewable sources, of which just one per cent from wind power. The project will help Bulgaria meet its EU set target to increase its renewable energy production to 16 per cent by 2020.

Located 25 km inland from the Black Sea, the Suvorovo wind farm will comprise 30 wind turbines and will have a capacity of 60 MW. It is expected to start its operation by the end of 2010.

As part of the project, Eolica Bulgaria, majority-owned by the Spanish Enhol Group, focusing on development of renewable energy in Spain, central and eastern Europe, will develop and operate the wind farm, build a new substation at the project site and a line to interconnect the wind farm to the national power network.

Structured under the Bank’s A/B scheme, the EBRD will offer €17.5 million for syndication, retaining €42.5 million on its account.

With total cost of €108 million the project is co-financed by a €11 million loan from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and by Enhol Group’s equity investment.

"Promoting generation of renewable energy is one of the EBRD’s core priorities in countries of its operations, and we are pleased to support this important project at a time when securing the necessary financing remains a challenging task”, said Nandita Parshad, Director of EBRD's Power and Energy team.

“The Suvorovo wind farm will have a strong demonstration impact, outlining the commercial viability of such projects and will help Bulgaria in meeting its green energy objectives”, added Nandita Parshad.

“It has taken a while to achieve the full development of a project in Bulgaria, but certainly, Suvorovo project consolidates Enhol Group’s presence in the country where we anticipate the construction of several wind farms with a total installed capacity of 200-250 MW in the next few years”, said Antonio Oliver, Enhol Group’s CEO.

In the recent years Enhol Group’ has been focusing on extending its activities internationally, particularly in eastern Europe, Latin America and India. The Group’s total portfolio of projects at different stages of development, including the wind farms in Spain, Italy and Portugal, represent close to 1000MW of nominal capacity. 

This is the EBRD’s second wind farm project in Bulgaria. In 2008 the Bank and the International Financial Corporation provided a €198 million investment for the construction of the St. Nikola wind farm.

Overall, since the beginning of the EBRD’s operations in Bulgaria, the Bank has committed €2 billion in more than 120 projects in key sectors of country’s economy, mobilising additional investment worth more than €6.7 billion.

The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies from Central Europe to Central Asia.”

($ = 0.6959)

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