Project number:


Business sector:

Manufacturing and Services

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

03 Jun 1997



PSD disclosed:

09 May 1997


Project Description

The project consists of the partial financing of the acquisition of Sodi Devnya A.D., a Bulgarian soda ash producer, by Solvay S.A, the second-largest industrial company in Belgium.

The EBRD's financing will assist in the first large high-profile privatisation in Bulgaria. The planned capital expenditure programme will improve productivity, energy efficiency and product competitiveness and is also designed to bring environmental practice up to world standards.

Transition Impact

The proposed operation is the first cash privatisation of a major state-owned company in Bulgaria and by far the most sizeable foreign investment in the country. It takes place at a time of severe economic crisis due to the delay and partial reversal of structural reforms since 1991. Within this context, the investment could, in conjunction with the implementation of sweeping plans for economic stabilisation, privatisation, restructuring and banking sector reform, serve as a powerful and highly visible signal of a new commitment to market-oriented and investor-friendly policies. The operation would contribute through its success to supporting the new policy of privatisation and attract increased interest in Bulgarian assets by other potential investors.

The Client

Sodi is the largest operating synthetic soda ash plant in the world, with an annual installed capacity of 1.2 million tonnes. As of 14 April 1997, Sodi became part of the Solvay Group through the acquisition of 60 per cent of the company's shares by a consortium led by Solvay and including the Turkish glass manufacturer Sisecam.

EBRD Finance

US$ 40 million (ECU 32.81 million) equity investment

Project Cost

US$ 231.50 million (ECU 189.90 million)

Environmental Impact

The project has been screened in category B/1, requiring an environmental analysis and audit. No large-scale investment is associated with this specific financing operation. An environmental audit and baseline assessment has been conducted by international and local consultants. Sodi and Solvay have reviewed and commented on the audit and assessment, and a draft Environmental Action Plan (EAP) has been prepared. The capital expenditure related to the implementation of this plan will be financed by Sodi itself. The company will bring the plant into compliance with the relevant legislation and good international practice through the implementation of the EAP over the next seven years. Solvay management is committed to the implementation of the Action Plan. Progress in the implementation of the EAP will be closely monitored.

Technical Cooperation


Company Contact


Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations. Please visit the Public Information Policy page below to find out how to request a Public Sector Board Report.
Text of the PIP

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