EBRD supports Poland’s Arctic Paper with €30 million loan

By Axel  Reiserer

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Investments will lead to efficiency improvements, energy savings and expansion of capacity

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing the Polish paper producer Arctic Paper S.A. with a €30 million loan to finance investments for improvements in the company’s operational and energy efficiency as well as to expand future production capacity in Poland.

Strengthening the resilience of the economy in the countries where it invests is one of the EBRD’s strategic priorities and the loan to Arctic Paper will benefit a strong local producer who is also competing successfully on international markets.

The EBRD loan will be part of a €90 million financing package involving commercial banks and bond investors. With the planned investments Arctic Paper is seeking to significantly increase its competitiveness, expand its capacity and improve its energy and resource efficiency. The company’s mill at Kostrzyn, Poland, will be upgraded with investments under the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach to improve energy and waste efficiency.

Arctic Paper Group is a leading European producer of paper for books and offers a broad range of products. Currently, the firm operates one paper mill in Poland and two in Sweden, with combined annual production capacity of 705,000 tonnes. In addition, the company owns a controlling stake in Rottneros AB, a Swedish pulp production company operating two pulp mills with a yearly capacity of 400,000 tonnes. In 2015, Arctic Paper generated consolidated sales of PLN 2,900 million and employs a workforce of approximately 1,770.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director, Manufacturing and Services, said: “The EBRD is proud to support Arctic Paper and the successful further development of the company with the financial package we have put together with our partners. It will allow the firm to continue its successful path of development and growth. At the same time, the energy efficiency improvements will benefit operations and the environment.”

Per Skoglund, Acting CEO of Arctic Paper S.A., commented: “We are very pleased to finalise the refinancing process with strong and reliable partners. Aside from increasing our competitiveness, the refinancing will also enable us to improve our energy and resource efficiency, among other measures, thanks to the investments in energy and waste efficiency planned for our mill in Kostrzyn. Combined with further investments we have planned in new products, the refinancing will give us an increased advantage in today’s challenging paper market.”

The EBRD and Poland have been working together closely since the establishment of the Bank 25 years ago and it was here that the Bank made its first investment. To date, the EBRD has invested €8.13 billion in more than 370 projects in the country. The Bank’s activities include all sectors of the economy. In recent years, following demand in the market, the EBRD has been particularly active in the development of the local capital market and in supporting energy efficiency and sustainable sources of energy.

The EBRD’s strategic plan for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.

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