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EBRD providing €300 million loan to Tunisia’s utility company STEG

By Nibal Zgheib

·        €300 million support package for Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG)

·        Safeguarding stability of Tunisia’s energy sector during coronavirus pandemic

·        EU, GEF, SECO and SEMED MDA to fund roadmap for corporate and climate-related reform

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €300 million financing package to Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG) to support the stability of Tunisia’s energy sector during the coronavirus pandemic in the medium term.

This programme will allow STEG to implement an ambitious corporate and climate reform roadmap that would anchor the shift towards a more sustainable and efficiently run company.

The package consists of two facilities. The first is an immediate €100 million emergency stabilisation facility under the EBRD’s Vital Infrastructure Support Programme. The second facility of up to €200 million will help refinance STEG’s short and medium-term liabilities.

In addition, the European Union is providing an investment grant of up to €20 million to finance the implementation of an enterprise resource planning system, a necessary step towards the modernisation of STEG.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is providing a grant of up to €400,000 under the EBRD’s Environmental Technology Transfer programme, which focuses on promoting investments in wastewater treatment and recycling.

The financing package will be accompanied by a detailed roadmap for reform and energy sustainability that aims to improve the company’s corporate and climate governance, enhancing financial management and promoting inclusion to support equal opportunities and career development for women and young professionals.

The roadmap includes a comprehensive package of technical cooperation and investment grants consisting of €2.5 million from the European Union, €75,000 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), €1.2 million from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), €140,000 from the EBRD’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Multi-Donor Account (AustraliaFinland, France, GermanyItaly, the NetherlandsNorwaySpainSweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom) and €200,000 from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

STEG is Tunisia’s state-owned national electricity and gas utility company. Established in 1962, it produces and distributes electricity and natural gas. Its involvement in the gas value chain is limited to gas distribution and gas-fired generation. STEG is also the sole off-taker of private renewable energy in the country.

The EBRD is supporting the decarbonisation of Tunisia’s energy sector through the introduction of robust climate governance measures, policy engagement to support solar and wind programmes and strengthening the financial standing of STEG.

Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested close to €1.2 billion across 52 projects in the country, in both the private and public sectors. 

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