Loans to help increase efficiency of Turkish power distribution
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and UniCredit are jointly providing Akcez Enerji Yatırımları Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş (AKCEZ), a Turkish electricity supplier and distribution operator, and its subsidiaries with a long-term refinancing package of US$ 325 million, partially in Turkish lira. The package also includes additional capital expenditure (capex) financing loans.
This refinancing has been achieved through the amendment and reinstatement of the general terms including the total loan amount, currency and maturity.
IFC and the EBRD are investing US$ 105 million each, whilst UniCredit is investing US$ 115 million under the IFC and EBRD B-Loans structure. The same group of lenders provided a similar financing package to AKCEZ in 2010 for privatisation of SEDAS, and for its capex needs. SEDAS was one of the first electricity distribution companies to be privatised in Turkey. All Turkish electricity distribution companies were privatised during 2010-13.
The capex portion of the refinancing package will support the expansion of Turkey’s electricity distribution network and help to decrease energy losses and improve energy efficiency.
Having made significant improvements in distribution and network efficiency since privatisation in 2010, the new investment will help AKCEZ to replace older distribution lines and install advanced metering systems, reduce loss levels and expand its distribution network to serve new customers.
Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy, added: “AKCEZ has the ambition to set the bar higher for other market players by raising quality standards, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Our refinancing package for AKCEZ and its subsidiaries aims to help the company achieve exactly this. It comes in both foreign and local currency and it is in fact the first time the EBRD is mobilising local currency financing under its A/B syndicated loan structure. But what makes us particularly proud is that this loan will go beyond purely supporting the company’s capex programme, and, through technical assistance, will help AKCEZ promote equal opportunities and a greater role for female employees.”
Turkey is the top destination for EBRD financing, with €1.9 billion invested in 2015 alone. To date, the EBRD has invested over €7 billion in the country through more than 180 projects. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing. In Turkey the Bank focuses on sustainable energy, improving infrastructure, strengthening the competitiveness of the private sector, deepening capital and local currency markets, while promoting regional and youth inclusion and gender equality.
Wiebke Schloemer, IFC’s Head of Infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, said: “Power sector development is one of the priority areas identified in the World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy for Turkey. The refinancing package terms, which are amended and reinstated to include capex loans as well as local currency tranches, will help our long-term partner AKCEZ and its subsidiaries to further improve the quality and reliability of service. The structure of this significant agreement demonstrates IFC’s important role in mobilising other financial resources and a good example of cooperation between multilateral institutions.”
Globally, IFC invested more than US$ 4 billion in power, transport and energy projects in financial year 2015, including funds mobilised from third parties. In Turkey, IFC’s second-largest country of operations globally, IFC has significantly increased its investments in the power sector by investing and mobilising a total of US$ 695 million over the last three years.
Andrea Diamanti, Head of Financing CEE at Unicredit commented: “The transaction underlines our commitment to the Turkish power market and our mission to support our clients in growing their businesses in Turkey and the CEE region. The transaction is another good example of UniCredit’s well-established cooperation with EBRD and IFC for structuring complex transactions in the Turkish market”
UniCredit is one of the leading financiers in the Turkish and central and eastern European (CEE) markets.