Voltalia: Karavasta PV

Location:

Albania

Project number:

52361

Business sector:

Energy

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

A

Approval date:

15 Nov 2022

Status:

Approved

PSD disclosed:

22 Sep 2022

Project Description

Provision of a senior long-term loan to finance the construction and operation of Karavasta Solar Power Plant (SPP), a 140 MWp SPP located in the municipality of Fier in Albania (the "Project"). The Project is a result of a competitive international tender supported by the Bank and it will be implemented by Karavasta Solar LLC, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Albania, 100% owned by Voltalia SA, an international renewable energy company listed on Euronext Paris.

Project Objectives

The Project will contribute to climate mitigation by meaningfully increasing the share of solar power generation in Albania and will promote further private participation in the sector dominated by public hydro power assets and imported energy.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 100

The transition impact arises from delivering climate mitigation benefits through the construction of 140 MW of additional renewable energy generation capacity in Albania. The international tender that has led to the Project is unique in that it is promoting development of local energy markets by requiring the Project to have 50% of its output exposed to energy market dynamics. Successful implementation of the Project is expected to have a very significant demonstration effect for investors and finance institutions looking to advance and support renewable development in the Western Balkan region.

Client Information

TO BE DEFINED

Voltalia SA is an international renewable energy company listed on Euronext Paris.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 33,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 136,000,000.00

Additionality

The Bank is anchoring the financing structure required for implementation of the Project and mobilising significant commercial debt participation.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised A (2019 ESP). The development of a 140MW of the SPV project with an associated overhead transmission line (OHTL), located at an Important Birds Area and adjacent to a Candidate Emerald Site and Ramsar site is associated with risks to biodiversity, social and livelihood impacts resulting from the land take, as well as construction and operation health and safety impacts. The Project required development of a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in line with EBRD PRs, as well as supplementary package of NTS, ESAP, SEP and LRP. The ESIA package has been disclosed for 60 days on August 31, 2022 on the Client's and EBRD's websites. No issues have been raised to date.

Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) and ESIA gap analysis of the Project has been undertaken by an independent Consultant. The Project is a result of a tender which was extensively supported by EBRD through TC assistance, including initial E&S risk screening. The Sponsor is the existing Bank's Client and Bank is also a minority shareholder of Voltalia since 2019. Monitoring of the existing projects have confirmed that Voltalia is generally on track with the implementation of the ESAPs agreed for the previous deals; has adequate Environmental and Social management systems, and corporate institutional capacity in place  to deliver the Project in line with Bank's PRs. Project-level EHS structure and management systems have been created and is now fully operational.

The PV plant site is adjacent to Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, a Candidate Emerald Site under the Bern Convention encompassing Karavasta Lagoon Ramsar Site. The project site also partially overlaps with the Karavasta Lagoon Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and Important Bird Area (IBA) designated for globally threatened bird species, important congregations of wintering and breeding waterbirds, and the endemic Albanian Water Frog. A comprehensive biodiversity assessment, inclusive of the Critical Habitat Assessment, Appropriate Assessment and Ecosystem Services Assessment have been undertaken by the a group of international biodiversity experts, and comprehensive Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) have been prepared for the project to address any potential risks and include avoidance, monitoring, and management of potential adverse impacts on protected areas and biodiversity values. The consultations have been also held with the Competent Authorities and Administration of the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park.

The available land for the PV plant is 196 hectares (ha), with the proposed PV layout footprint occupying a total of 185 hectares. The 220 kV OHL will run approximately 19.2 km in a south-easterly direction from the project site to the Fier substation. There is no physical resettlement associated with the project. However, the plant site and OHTL will affect land use, primarily as it relates to land loss and economic displacement in largely agricultural areas. Impacts related to land acquisition are managed through the implementation of the LRP. The LRP has been developed with input from project-affected Households and will be subject to an independent audit after completion to verify whether livelihoods have been restored to pre-project levels.

Enhanced supply chain due diligence has been conducted for the solar components of the project. There are functioning supply chain management system in place and policies that highlight a zero tolerance to labour violations, including the Code of Conduct, these requirements have been cascaded from the bank to the borrowers, onwards to the EPC contractor and throughout the supply chain for PV modules. The Financing Agreement will require the project to maintain due diligence and management procedures for the sourcing of solar modules.   A supply chain map has been obtained for this project which has provided traceability to polysilicon level, which will be confirmed by a third party auditor and monitored by the Bank.

Other E&S risks and impacts are expected to include: the company's and contractor's E&S management capacity & systems; stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanism; labor and working conditions including Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), potential COVID19 impact, workers grievance mechanism, non-discrimination and equal opportunities; emergency preparedness; community impacts. To address E&S risks a detailed Environmental and Social Action Plan has been developed and agreed with the Client.

The Bank will monitor the project implementation on a quarterly basis through the Lenders Technical Advisers reports as well as annually though the review of Annual Environmental and Social Reports (AESR).

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

The Project is a direct outcome of the EUR 1 million technical cooperation (TC) with the Government of Albania to competitively procure large solar capacities. The TC includes: i) preparing the legal framework for the competitive procurement of large renewable capacities, ii) competitive procurement of one large PV project following the preparation of the legal framework, and iii) establishment of the renewable operator.

Company Contact Information

Xavier Mulliez
x.mulliez@voltalia.com
+33 6 45 26 74 59
https://www.voltalia.com/
Ndërtesa ETC, Bulevardi Bajram Curri, Kati 9, Zyra 3, Tirana, Albania

PSD last updated

19 Oct 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.

 

Share this page: