PRISTINA (Kosovo), December 16 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending 58 million euro ($64.5 million) to finance the construction and operation of the 105 MW Bajgora wind farm in Kosovo's Mitrovica municipality, the bank said on Monday.
“Kosovo, which largely relies on lignite for its electricity, will soon start benefiting from a cleaner supply of energy from the biggest wind farm in the country,” the EBRD said in a statement.
The wind farm - the largest private sector project that the EBRD has signed in Kosovo to date - will represent about 10% of the country’s installed capacity when complete, the bank said. The operation of the Bajgora wind farm will avoid 247,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, making a significant contribution to climate change mitigation.
The EBRD loan is half of the total financing required for the project, with the remainder provided by Erste Group Bank and NLB Bank, both benefiting from cover provided by the German export credit agency Euler Hermes, the EBRD said.
The Bajgora wind farm will be the largest power plant built in Kosovo since the 1980s and will help address the challenges of reducing power cuts and avoiding pollution from the operation of Kosovo’s two coal-fired main electricity plants.
The project will be implemented by Sowi Kosovo LLC, majority-owned and controlled by Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd, an Israeli renewable energy company and existing client of the EBRD, alongside partners from Germany and Kosovo.
"The success of this project is a tribute to all involved, but especially the Kosovar authorities, who have built a contractual framework that can attract high quality international investors and lenders," the director for energy in Europe, Middle East and Africa regions at EBRD, Harry Boyd-Carpenter, said in the statement. "It is great to see a country that has relied for so long on lignite begin to exploit its renewable potential."
($ = 0.89890 euro)