PLN 800 million loan to Energa to strengthen power grid and boost renewables
The EBRD is supporting the modernization of the electricity distribution network and the development of renewable energy sources in Poland with a PLN 800 million loan (equivalent to approximately €205 million) to the Energa energy group in order to help the company strengthen its power grid.
Operating in northern and central Poland, which are the country’s most favorable areas for wind energy generation, Energa is also the country’s leading producer of energy from renewable sources. The company, supplying approximately three million customers, is majority-owned by the state and due to be privatized in 2010.
Aiming to improve its capacity by 2011, Energa is implementing a PLN 2.5 billion investment program, which includes extension and strengthening of its power grid, connecting new customers, network automation and modernization of the metering system.
The EBRD financing will be primarily used to build connections that will enable Energa to link new renewable energy sources to its grid, thus addressing a major impediment to the development of wind energy in Poland.
Structured under the Bank’s A/B loan scheme, the EBRD will retain PLN 300 million in its own account, with the rest syndicated to a group of commercial banks, including ING, BTMU, Nordea and Caja Madrid. The European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank are co-financing the project.
“Promoting green energy is one of the EBRD’s key priorities and we are pleased to support this important project which will address the existing infrastructure bottlenecks constraining the development of green energy in Poland. This project will help Energa improve its operations and become a more attractive asset for privatization,” said Nandita Parshad, EBRD’s Director for Power and Energy.
“The investments we have planned will not only facilitate improvement of energetic safety in the areas where the company provides its services, but also significantly support the pro-ecological operation of the ENERGA Group, presently the largest supplier of energy from renewable resources. We are glad that our investment program has gained recognition of such an exquisite partner as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development," says Mirosław Bieliński, the Chair of ENERGA SA.
Since the beginning of its operations in Poland, the EBRD has invested over €4 billion in the country’s economy.
ENERGA Group (www.energa.pl) delivers electric energy to 2.5 million households and over 300,000 companies, which constitutes about 17 per cent of the market share in electric energy sales. The Group is the operator of an electric energy distribution system across an area of 75,000 square kilometers and uses over 187,000 kilometers of electric lines which annually transfer over 20 TW-h of energy. It is the country's leader in the supply of energy from renewable sources. It owns 45 hydroelectric power plants; its network is connected to multiple wind power plants, smaller hydroelectric power plants and biogas works. This enables the Group to run a global strategy for energy production from ecological sources, which presently constitutes nearly 13 per cent of the electric energy supplied to the company's clients.