UniCredit Bank Serbia and Elicio invest in renewable energy.
Belgrade, September 7th 2017
UniCredit Bank Serbia and Electrawinds Mali WF d.o.o, a Serbian subsidiary 100% owned by Belgian renewable energy producer Elicio, signed a long-term financing agreement in the total amount of EUR 9.8 million for the development, construction and operation of the Malibunar wind farm, whose construction started in November 2016. It is after thorough due diligence on regulatory, legal, technical and insurance matters, that on August 31st 2017 the first debt disbursement took place, in the amount of EUR 3.2 million.
UniCredit Bank Serbia is heading the project as sole lender, utilizing funding provided by Green for Growth Fund (GGF). The financing is complemented by short-term VAT bridge financing and interest rate hedging arrangements.
The total value of the investment in Malibunar, located in the municipality of Alibunar in South Banat, is around EUR 14 million. The wind farm will consist of 4 Senvion MM 100 turbines with a total installed capacity of 8 MW. It is estimated that, upon the completion of the construction, Malibunar will annually generate 25GW hours of electricity which equals the yearly consumption of 7,200 households. The project will contribute towards lowering CO2 emissions with 15,800 tons per year.
On this occasion, Csilla Ihasz, Chairwoman of the Management Board of UniCredit Bank Serbia, stated: “We are very proud that UniCredit Bank’s wide experience in the field of renewable energy financing is recognized and that we are entrusted the role of being Malibunar’s sole lender. The fact that we, once again, participate in a project of huge importance for this country is yet again proof that we continue to follow and support the development of this sector. This is evidenced by our current portfolio that also includes mini hydro and solar parks. As a pioneer on the local market, our ambitions are big and we will continue to go in this direction.”
Ludo Vandervelden, General Manager of Elicio added: “Elicio is proud to reach this milestone as this is the first project that has secured project financing after the new decrees were adopted by the Serbian Government in June 2016. It demonstrates the quality of the project and expresses the confidence that both Elicio, as an investor, and UniCredit, as a lender, have in the Serbian market and regulatory framework. UniCredit has solid experience in renewable energy in CEE and the Balkans. They have a strong local presence in Serbia, making them a suitable and trustworthy financing partner with whom we entered into a long-term relationship.
The Serbian government amended certain features of the renewable energy decrees in June 2017, which paved the way to start the construction of our second wind farm in the Alibunar area, located adjacent to our Malibunar wind farm. The project is called Alibunar and will have a total installed capacity of 42 MW. An estimated EUR 80 million will be invested.”
UniCredit is a simple successful Pan European Commercial Bank, with a fully plugged in CIB, delivering a unique Western, Central and Eastern European network to our extensive client franchise: 25 million clients. UniCredit offers local expertise as well as an international one reaching and supporting its clients globally, providing them with unparalleled access to leading banks in its 14 core markets as well as in other 18 countries worldwide. UniCredit European banking network includes Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.
Elicio is a Belgian renewable energy producer operating internationally. It is a subsidiary of the Nethys Group, a Belgium-based energy and telecommunications group. In 2014, Elicio acquired selected wind energy projects of Electrawinds NV, which were developed as from 1998. Today Elicio generates its power from wind turbines, high-tech installations which are developed and constructed in a spirit of good neighborliness. Elicio actively operates within all aspects of renewable energy by successfully developing, engineering, constructing and running its projects in-house for the past 20 years. In doing so, Elicio also exports its expertise, acquired in its home markets Belgium and France, to play a key role in the energy transition of new markets, such as Serbia and Kenya. As such, Elicio wants to make a positive contribution towards a better living environment.