EBRD to invest EUR125million in eastern European wind markets

EUROPE: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced plans to finance projects in several emerging wind markets in eastern Europe.

The EBRD, a London-based international financial institution that supports projects in 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia, said it would acquire 25% stakes in the Hungarian and Polish subsidiaries of the Spanish wind giant Iberdrola. 

The EBRD will invest a maximum of EUR125million for the stakes and will also evaluate the possibility of collaborating with Iberdrola in the Romanian market. 

Iberdrola currently has four operational wind farms in Poland with total capacity of 160.5 MW as well as a 50 MW wind farm operating in Hungary.  

The Spanish firm is now constructing additional capacity of 98MW in these two countries.   In a similar transaction in 2008, the EBRD acquired a 25% stake in Iberdrola’s Estonian arm.

The EBRD also agreed to provide a EUR60million syndicated loan to Eolica Bulgaria, the Bulgarian subsidiary of Spanish renewable group Enhol, for the development of the 60 MW Suvorovo wind farm, located 25 kilometres inland from the Black Sea. 

The project is expected  to be operational by end-2010.  Total costs for the project are EUR108million, and the project is being co-financed by a EUR11million loan from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and by Enhol Group’s equity investment.  

The Suvorovo project is the second Bulgarian wind farm for which the EBRD has provided funding. It also provided financing for the 156 MW Saint Nikola wind farm of American energy giant AES, which should be commissioned in the first half of 2010.

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