Office des Cereales - Working Capital

Location:

Tunisia

Project number:

53812

Business sector:

Agribusiness

Notice type:

State

Approval date:

20 Jul 2022

Status:

Signed

PSD disclosed:

19 May 2022

Project Description

Provision of up to EUR 150 million sovereign loan (the "Loan") for the benefit of Office des Cereales ("ODC" or the "Company"). ODC is a Tunisian state owned office in charge of international and national procurement, storage, and sales and distribution of durum wheat, wheat, and barley in Tunisia. The Loan will finance ODC's working capital needs related to their international purchase of grains.

Project Objectives

In light of the ongoing war on Ukraine and the disruption caused in international grain supply and record high prices, the bank aims to support the Tunisian government through the provision of a loan to ensure availability of liquidity for ODC's international grain purchases, and hence contribute to the country's food security. In parallel to financing, the Bank will also seek to mobilise a technical cooperation ("TC") package to (i) support ODC to increase the efficiency of its operations and adoption of best business and governance standards; and (ii) conduct a review of the Tunisian grain value chain and develop subsequently some recommendations addressing structural weaknesses in the Tunisian grain sector.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 64

The transition impact of the Project is expected to derive from its contribution to the resilient and well-governed qualities. Through the proposed liquidity response, the Project supports food security in Tunisia by increasing the resilience of ODC to purchase internationally and import key agricultural commodities. Through the contemplated TC and policy advisory activities, the Project will also aim at (a) increasing the efficiency of ODC grain import logistical operations by looking at ways to reduce grain storage and handling losses, and (b) conducting a review of the Tunisian grain value chain and formulating some recommendations addressing structural weaknesses in the Tunisian grain sector.

Through the contemplated TC support, the Project also targets promoting best business standards with the ODC, resulting in increased corporatisation in the longer term, improved corporate governance and management and quality systems.

Client Information

OFFICE DES CEREALES

Office des Cereales is a Tunisian state owned office in charge of international and national procurement, storage, and sales and distribution of durum wheat, wheat, and barley in Tunisia.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 150,000,000.00

EUR 150,000,000.

Total Project Cost

EUR 150,000,000.00

EUR 150,000,000

Additionality

EBRD is additional in terms of ability to provide timely liquidity to the ODC hardly available on the Tunisian market. Through the proposed TC and policy advisory, the Tunisian government will also seek use of EBRD expertise on achieving higher governance standards for the ODC, and improving the efficiency of the Tunisian grain value chain and the country's food security.

Environmental and Social Summary

Based on an initial assessment conducted back in 2017 in the context of a previous potential project with the ODC (to be updated in the context of the current project) the findings were as follows:

Categorised B (ESP 2014). The purchase of grains is associated with site-specific environmental and social risks which can be managed and mitigated through the implementation of a targeted action plan. An updated environmental and social due diligence will be undertaken and will include meetings with the Office Des Cereales (ODC)'s relevant departments and site visits to the relevant ODC sites. 

Initial findings show that the Company is in compliance with environmental permitting procedures and has a number of fragmented environmental, health and safety, and social (EHSS) management measures that are in place both at the central and the sites level. 

Accidents and incidents are reported on a regular basis, and corrective measures are identified. Nevertheless the system needs to be formalised and improved, and the EHS resources will also need to be enhanced in line with the EBRD requirements.  The Company is generally in compliance with EBRD's PR2, and has a set of policies and procedures and an operational internal grievance mechanism procedure in place.   An Environmental and Social Action Plan will be drafted and agreed with the Company to address issues identified during due diligence. 

This PSD will be updated once the ESDD is completed, and a Non-Technical Summary and a Stakeholder Engagement Plan will be disclosed prior to Board approval.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

Through the contemplated TC and policy advisory, the Project aims at conducting a review of the Tunisian grain value chain and formulating some recommendations addressing structural weaknesses in the Tunisian grain sector. It will also aim at promoting best business standards with the ODC entailing improved logistical operations, increased corporatisation, improved corporate governance, management and quality systems.

Company Contact Information

Bechir Kthiri
bechir.kthiri@oc.com.tn
+216 70 557 300
+216 70 557 401
www.oc.com.tn
30 Rue Alain Savary, Tunis 1002, Tunisia

PSD last updated

19 May 2022

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:

Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement:

Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to compliance@ebrd.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP 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 following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email ipam@ebrd.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.

 

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