EBRD extends PLN 500 million loan to Polish power company PGE

By Axel  Reiserer

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Far-reaching modernisation programme will transform the distribution grid 

Supporting the modernisation of Poland’s electricity grid system, the EBRD is providing a loan of PLN 500 million (€115 million equivalent) to the power company PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE) to finance a far-reaching modernisation programme.

The PGE Capital Group, through its subsidiary PGE Dystrybucja SA, has initiated an investment programme of over PLN 7 billion (€1.6 billion) in its electricity distribution network, to be implemented during the period 2016-19. A huge investment programme is essential to transform PGE's grid into a modern network fit for the rapidly evolving Polish electricity sector.

PGE is the largest power utility in Poland, with its operations concentrated in the eastern and central regions of the country. The company is 57 per cent state-owned and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

PGE's investment programme which the EBRD is supporting is critical to help Poland achieve a cleaner, more flexible grid that addresses the needs of the Polish economy and is also able to accommodate the growing volume of small-scale, distributed generation of renewable energy.

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Head of Power and Energy Utilities, said: “This is a very important transaction for our Bank, our partner PGE and also for Poland. We are delighted to support PGE in the transformation of their network into a modern, efficient and cleaner system.”

Henryk Baranowski, CEO of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, added: “At Group level, we are systematically expanding and diversifying our portfolio of financing sources. Another agreement executed with an international financial institution, and a number of projects launched on the Polish financial market, show that PGE Group is perceived as a reliable and solid partner. The funds obtained from the EBRD will help us to develop and modernise our distribution network, increasing its efficiency and the security of supplies to clients.”

Promoting energy efficiency is one of the EBRD’s top priorities in Poland. To date, the Bank has invested more than €8.4 billion of its own funds in all sectors of the Polish economy, supporting nearly 400 projects. The energy sector constitutes nearly one-third of the EBRD’s portfolio in Poland. The loan to PGE is the third EBRD-financed project aimed at supporting the efficiency of the Polish distribution network.

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