The project is an extension to an existing EBRD commitment (comprising US$ 11 million loan and US$ 3 million equity) to Virolite Functional Polymers S.A., a "greenfield" chemical company located in Victoria, Romania. The extension is required to provide working capital support to Virolite.
The project's objectives are to: (i) enable Virolite to complete the project as a free-standing entity; (ii) demonstrate the EBRD's commitment to foreign direct investment in Romania; and (iii) stimulate medium and long-term lending by commercial banks.
Transition impact includes: (i) strong demonstration impact on potential investors regarding the industrial potential of Romania; (ii) continued support of the largest private sector project in the Romanian chemical industry; and (iii) setting environmental standards for Romanian chemical companies.
Virolite Functional Polymers S.A. is a joint venture between Purolite International, the US/UK ion exchange resins (IER) manufacturer, and Viromet S.A., a Romanian state-owned chemical company. Purolite was established in 1981 with the objective of selling and distributing IERs. With annual sales in excess of US$ 100 million and production capacity of 63,000 m³ per annum, Purolite is one of the largest IER producers in the world.
Loan of US$ 2 million (ECU 1.6 million). Following an increase in its lending commitment to US$ 13 million (ECU 10.4 million), the EBRD will seek to syndicate up to US$ 5 million (ECU 4 million) to commercial banks on a "best efforts" basis.
US$ 39.1 million (ECU 31.3 million) including the original project and the extension.
The original project financed the construction of a manufacturing facility for ion exchange resins and was categorised as A/1, requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment, audit and public consultation, which were completed in 1993. Satisfactory environmental information and reports have been received as part of monitoring the original project. The extension project, US$ 2 million for working capital, which includes the construction of a new office building, has been categorised as B/0, requiring information about the office building.
Soil testing shows no issues of concern associated with the site of the office building, and adequate insulation and energy efficiency measures have been built into its design. All appropriate construction permits have been obtained. An evacuation plan will be developed.
No other significant issues have been identified for this extension project. The EBRD receives routine environmental and worker safety reports with regard to the original project. These reports will be expected to cover any issues associated with the extension project in the future.
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