EBRD helps modernise agriculture sector in Moldova

By Ina Coretchi

The EBRD is supporting the development of the agricultural infrastructure in Moldova with a $12 million loan to Trans Oil Group, the largest grain trading company in Moldova.

As part of its development strategy, Trans Oil Group has built an oilseed crushing plant in Ceadar Lunga, in the Southern part of Moldova and a grain export terminal in the Giurgiulesti port on the Danube.

The EBRD loan will refinance Trans Oil Group’s short term debt used for the construction of the oilseed crushing plant, as well as to support Trans Oil Group with the working capital facility for procurement of oilseed from local producers.

In addition, mirroring the EBRD loan structure, Mobiasbanca – Groupe Societe Generale is lending Trans Oil Group $12 million to refinance the loan used by the company to build the grain terminal, as well as to provide working capital resources.

The new plant, the only crushing facility in the southern region of the country and the second active oilseed crushing plant in Moldova, will have a crushing capacity of 150,000 tonnes annually and oil storage capacity of 3,500 metric tonnes.

The grain terminal in Giurgiulesti will enable the Moldovan grain traders to reduce considerably their transportation costs, by providing a shorter and more convenient export route.

“This project will improve the agricultural infrastructure in Moldova, boosting competition in this important sector for the Moldovan economy. In addition, this transaction will benefit local producers of oilseed by providing them with better access to finance”, said Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness.

Wholly-owned by the Swiss grain trader Vision Holding, which also operates in Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan, Trans Oil Group holds close to 60 per cent of Moldova’s total grain exports. It sources most of its grains from local small and medium-sized farmers and exports the grains to countries in northern Africa, Middle East, Turkey and the EU.

To date the EBRD has committed more than €325 million in various sectors of the Moldovan economy, mobilising additional investment in excess of €240 million.