/LONDON, December 27, 2021, EBRD, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ To boost Bulgaria’s renewable energy sector, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has committed earlier this month new funds to the 156 megawatt (MW) Saint Nikola wind farm located in the Kavarna region of northeast Bulgaria.
The Bank had supported the construction of Saint Nikola, Bulgaria’s largest wind farm, in 2008, with a €119 million loan. The project was completed in 2010. The new €32 million financing package, will refinance the remaining exposure on that loan and extend a new commitment of €16 million. The new EBRD funds will complemented by an additional €32 million in financing, split equally between two commercial banks. In anticipation of the phase-out of coal in Bulgaria, Saint Nikola has committed to participating in a renewable energy studies programme at the Technical University of Varna.
- New €16 million in EBRD financing to support Bulgaria’s Saint Nikola wind farm
- Package will refinance an existing EBRD loan and extend €16 million in new funds
- Company to fund green university scholarships and provide internships to students
With a focus on bringing about a greener, smarter energy future, the company will help develop a new, accredited course, in which its employees will share practical aspects of designing, constructing and operating a large wind park. Saint Nikola also plans to fund scholarships and offer internships to young people, with an emphasis on support for female students. The EBRD is a major investor in Bulgaria, where it focuses on making local firms more competitive, both at home and abroad, financing modern, sustainable infrastructure and developing financial products and capital markets in light of the country’s plans to adopt the euro. To date, the EBRD has invested more than €4.2 billion in Bulgaria’s economy through more than 270 projects.
AES Geo Energy is a private partnership company between the German Geo Power and AES, holding the majority stake. In 2009, AES Geo Energy built the 156 MW Saint Nikola Wind Farm near the town of Kavarna. With its 52 Vestas wind turbines erected, the Kavarna project is the largest wind farm in the country. Saint Nikola Wind Farm significantly increases Bulgaria’s capacity in the production of renewable energy and helps the country reaching the requirements of the 20/20/20 European Union Programme.
The total project investment was EUR 270 million, of which EUR 198 million were secured by a bank consortium, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Financial Corporation and UniCredit Market & Investment Banking.
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