EBRD arranges financing for Banie wind farm extension in Poland

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD arranges financing for Banie wind farm extension in Poland

Funding for construction and operation of 56MW renewables project

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strengthening Poland’s capacity to address global challenges like climate change with a financing package for the second phase of the Banie wind farm in north-western Poland with a 56MW extension.

The EBRD will extend its financing with an additional loan of PLN 162 million (€37 million equivalent) to finance phase 2 of the project. Additional PLN 90 million (€20 million equivalent) will be provided by Alior Bank. The first phase of the project was the successful installation of 50MW capacity.

The funds will refinance part of the construction costs for phase 2 of the wind farm. Once operational, phase 2 of the Banie wind farm will lead to reductions of approximately 97,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Increasing the share of renewables in the national energy mix is imperative for Poland in order to meet the EU’s emission reduction targets. At present, the country generates over 80 per cent of its energy in coal- and lignite-fired power plants.

The EBRD’s loan is being provided under the Integrated Approach to Polish Renewables, a framework aiming to support private investments in renewable energy technology to boost Poland’s efforts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

Banie wind farm is indirectly owned by Energix Renewable Energies Ltd., an independent Israeli renewable energy producer listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Director for Poland and the Baltics, said: “Bringing phase 2 of the Banie wind farm to the grid is an important step forward for Poland’s energy balance. It will allow the country to make progress with the reduction of CO2 emission and reaching the targets for the production of renewable energy.”

Asa Levinger, CEO of Energix, added: "Energix is honored and proud to sign one of the largest renewable energy financing transaction in Poland with first tier reputable Lenders – EBRD as the leader of the consortium, Alior Bank and BOS Bank. During the last few months, the consortium has demonstrated its added value and commitment by supporting and being a true in the first two phases of up to 192MW Banie Wind Farm project. The first phase of 50MW is fully operational and the financing will allow Energix to complete the second phase of the Banie Wind Farm project in the capacity of 56MW by the end of June 2016. Part of the refinanced equity will allow Energix to invest and develop new renewable energy projects in the future. As I truly believe there is no other choice other than renewable energies I hope to see the consortium next to us in the long run and wish us all a fruitful and successful collaboration."

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested €7.9 billion in more than 366 projects in the country. The Bank is active in all sectors of the economy with a specific focus on renewables where, via debt and equity, it has financed wind farm projects with a total installed capacity close to 1GW.