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FC, Unicredit, FMO and GGF Support Elicio’s Alibunar Wind Farm, Boosting Supply of Clean Energy in Serbia

 

Belgrade, September 12, 2017


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Serbia increase its supply of renewable energy by lending €19.1 million to Elicio, a subsidiary of Nethys Group, a Belgium-based energy and telecommunications group, for the 42-megawatt Alibunar wind farm.


The agreement, which includes an A Loan of €15.5 million and a C Loan of €3.6 million, was signed on June 28 and syndication was closed on September 11. Unicredit, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Green for Growth Fund (GGF) have agreed to provide a further €40m in B Loans to the project, which will help boost Serbia’s renewable energy production and improve the energy mix and electricity supply for homes and businesses in the northern province of Vojvodina. The project will also help Serbia meet its obligations under the Energy Community Treaty to have 27 percent of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.


“IFC’s strong involvement and backing demonstrates the strength of the project, and also Serbia’s ability and willingness to attract large investments in renewable energy,” said Ludo Vandervelden, General Manager of Elicio. “The recent amendments to the renewable energy laws paved the way for us to reach this important milestone and finally start construction, after years of ground-breaking development work.”


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 with an unused renewable energy capacity. The project will help diversify Serbia’s aged and highly pollutant generation mix, reduce an estimated 123,644 tons of greenhouse emissions per year, and create between 70 and 100 jobs by 2018.


“The Alibunar wind farm is the largest wind farm project financed in Serbia up to date. IFC’s support for renewable energy is an important part of our work to address climate change and improve access to infrastructure,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC’s Head of Infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. “The project also highlights IFC’s creating markets strategy, paving the way for other renewable energy projects looking for long-term financing from international or regional financial institutions. It is also a result of IFC’s work with the government of Serbia to improve relevant bylaws and the model power purchase agreement.”


The project’s wind turbine provider will be Senvion, a U.S. private equity-owned wind manufacturer that will also be the project’s operation and maintenance contractor. As well as its role as B Loan lender, Unicredit Serbia will act as account bank, VAT lender and interest hedging provider (alongside IFC). Allen & Overy and Karanovic & Nicolic acted as Lenders Legal Advisor, and DNV GL acted as Lenders Technical Advisor. Elicio was advised by White & Case and Karanovic & Nikolic.

 

The World Bank Group announced a commitment to increase climate-related investments by 28 percent by 2020 following its 2015 Annual Meetings, roughly doubling IFC's climate investments over the next five years.


About Elicio

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.

 

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
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