The EBRD is providing a $15 million loan to Floarea Soarelui, the leading manufacturer and distributor of edible oil in Moldova, to support the company’s drive to improve production and expand export volumes.
A subsidiary of the WJ Group, one of the largest exporters and processors of grain and oilseed in the CIS and eastern Europe, Floarea Soarelui holds 40 per cent of the edible oil market in Moldova and exports crude and bottled oil as well as meal and cake resulting from seed processing to countries in the EU, south-eastern Europe and the CIS.
The proceeds of the EBRD loan will help Floarea Soarelui purchase new equipment and will provide working capital financing for the procurement of oilseed.
The project includes the purchase of a new oilseeds dryer and toaster, which will help the company reduce the consumption of natural gas by almost two times and minimise the waste of raw materials.
Floarea Soarelui will also introduce a separation hydration line for crude oil, which will improve the quality of crude oil and increase the efficiency of production.
The project will help the company raise the quality and the competitiveness of its products on local and international markets. In addition Floarea Soarelui will significantly improve its energy efficiency, which will have a strong demonstration effect for other businesses in Moldova.
“The EBRD is pleased to support Floarea Soarelui in its efforts to become a more efficient business. This project brings new and improved standards to the Moldovan agriculture sector and opens opportunities for further energy efficiency investments,” said Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness.
Agriculture, a historically dominant sector in the Moldovan economy, accounts for 20 per cent of the country’s GDP, grains and oilseed representing over a third of the total agricultural output.
To date the EBRD has committed more than €325 million in various sectors of the Moldovan economy. The EBRD funds mobilised additional investments in excess of €240 million.