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EBRD boosts renewable energy in Central Europe

By Vanora Bennett

  • EBRD invests €10 million in green bond issued by Czech-based renewables firm Photon Energy
  • Bond will help firm accelerate renewable energy investments across Central and Eastern Europe
  • Deal with Photon Energy is EBRD’s first project since re-engaging in Czech Republic

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the transition of Photon Energy NV (Photon Energy), a renewable energy developer and independent power producer with Czech origins, with an investment of €10 million in the company’s €55 million green bond issuance.

Photon Energy is a fast-growing developer whose portfolio has tripled from 32 MW to 89 MW over the last three years. Its portfolio spans the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Australia.

The EBRD’s proceeds will be used for the company’s development, construction and operations of greenfield solar photovoltaic power plant projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company’s near-term strategic objective is to increase its portfolio in Hungary and expand development activities in Romania and Poland. The Bank’s investment will support Photon Energy’s transition from a local company to a competitive regional player.

The green bond is listed on the Open Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.  It was the company’s first green bond issuance, following a series of regular bond issuances. The company’s green bond framework has been verified by the German ESG rating provider IMUG rating GmbH, who confirmed in a second party opinion the bond’s use of proceeds and the full compliance with Green Bond Principles.

The EBRD’s participation in the company’s green bond has contributed to the success of the issuance, mobilising other investors and facilitating an increase of the issuance size.

Grzegorz Zielinski, Director of EBRD Energy Europe, said: “We are very pleased to support this promising company in their ambitious plan to become a truly regional renewable energy player in Central Europe.” 

Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy, commented: “We are very proud to have the EBRD as a major investor in our new Green Bond 2021/2027 that will enable us to significantly grow our portfolio in Central Europe.”

The project is the EBRD’s first investment since it re-engaged in the Czech Republic in March 2021, with a focus on helping the economy recover from the Covid-19 disturbances and fostering the country’s green transition.

In the Czech Republic, the EBRD’s focus is on supporting private sector companies whose growth is constrained by the limited access to finance. 

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