Lukerg secures EUR 67 million Romania loan

ROMANIA: Lukerg Renew, the 50:50 renewable energy joint venture between Italian energy group Erg and Russia's Lukoil, said it has secured EUR 67 million in an 11-year project financing loan for its 70MW Gebeleisis wind farm in Romania's Galati region.

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Raiffeissen Bank International and ING Bank are the mandated lead arrangers for the deal, which follows Lukerg Renew's acquisition of the operational Gebeleisis wind farm from Vestas in a EUR 109.2 million deal last year .

Alongside Gebeleisis, Lukerg Renew also owns the 82MW Topolog wind farm in Romania, which will shortly see capacity expanded to 84MW. In Bulgaria, the two partners own the 14MW Hrabrovo wind farm — also acquired from Vestas last year — and the 40MW Cavarna wind farm.

Regulatory uncertainty and reduced subsidies in both Romania and Bulgaria, respectively with cumulative wind capacity at end-2013 of 2605MW and 677MW, have meant Lukerg Renew and other market participants have largely put growth plans in these markets on hold.

However, Erg Renew CEO Massimo Derchi said recently that further growth could be possible in both Bulgaria and Romania should their market frameworks stabilise.

Lukerg has also begun evaluating the Russian market, although a local content requirement is among hurdles to investments there. Elsewhere in eastern Europe, Erg Renew is also considering Polish wind investments outside of the framework of the joint venture.

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