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EBRD buys stake in Turkish waste-to-energy firm

By Olga Rosca

  • EBRD to invest in a minority stake in Turkish waste-to-energy firm Biotrend
  • Investment encourages private-sector role in addressing municipal waste challenge
  • As new shareholder,  EBRD brings experience in corporate and climate governance

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is promoting private-sector know-how in waste management in Turkey by investing in a minority stake in the leading waste-to-energy firm Biotrend Çevre ve Enerji Yatırımları AS.

Biotrend’s main activities are integrated solid-waste management and renewable energy generation under municipal concessions of up to 20 years. The company operates 18 waste-to-energy plants in the Turkish cities of Izmir, Bursa, Balikesir, Hatay, Usak, Sivas, Aydın, Canakkale and Malatya, with a total installed capacity of 72.6MW.

Biotrend has been listed on Borsa Istanbul since April 2021.

As a shareholder in one of Turkey’s leading private waste management companies, the EBRD intends to promote private-sector participation in municipal waste management. The Bank is working with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and Turkish municipalities to upgrade the legal framework for public-private partnerships focused on municipal services.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “Weak waste management is one of the top environmental problems in Turkish cities. Although municipalities are responsible for waste management in their jurisdictions, they face technical, financial and managerial constraints. Private companies with know-how, such as Biotrend, can help cities address the waste challenge while increasing the installed capacity of renewable energy.”

İlhan Doğan, Chairman of Biotrend Energy, commented: “One of the most important solutions for a sustainable world is the use of renewable energy sources. The effects of climate change have once again been shown by the fires along the Mediterranean coast in the past few weeks. With new investments in the renewable energy field, it is possible to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency for a better future and healthier population. The use of biomass energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and slows climate change. In addition, thanks to waste recycling, the soil, underground and surface waters will be protected, which ensures the production of water and nutrients. Biotrend Energy has grown approximately five times in terms of both turnover and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the last three years. In 2021, we continue to grow in line with our targets. We are pleased that the cooperation with the EBRD has brought us one step closer to achieving our goals.”

With EBRD support, Biotrend will advance corporate governance and climate-risk management, adopt higher environmental standards and procurement practices, and promote gender equality in the workplace.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey and, to date, has invested almost €14 billion in the country through 349 projects, with 95 per cent of those in the private sector.

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