OTE RRF (project Syndesis)

Location:

Greece

Project number:

53639

Business sector:

Telecommunications, Media and Technology

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

06 Jul 2022

Status:

Signed

PSD disclosed:

23 Sep 2022

As permitted by paragraph 2.6 of Section III of the Access to Information Policy, disclosure of this PSD was deferred in accordance with paragraph 1.4.4 of the Directive on Access to Information.

Project Description

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") is supporting Greece's digital transition with a €150 million investment in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A. ("OTE" or the "Company") to support the implementation of an up to EUR 187.5 million investment programme for the deployment of fibre broadband infrastructure by 2027. The project is the first under the EBRD's Greek Recovery and Resilience Facility ("RRF") Co-Financing Framework implemented as part of the "Greece 2.0" National Recovery and Resilience Plan, funded by the European Union's NextGenerationEU programme. The €150 million loan consists of a €56.25 million tranche provided from the Bank's own resources and a €93.75 million tranche financed by the EU's RRF and channelled via the Greek Ministry of Finance, while the remaining €37.5 million of the investment are covered by OTE's own resources.

Project Objectives

The funds will enable OTE to finance part of its rollout of "fibre to the home" (FTTH) broadband infrastructure to approximately 371,000 households and businesses in 12 regions outside of Greece's major cities, improving access to connectivity and high-speed broadband, and promoting regional inclusion. The project aligns fully with the RRF digital transformation pillar, while FTTH technology is nearly 40 per cent more energy efficient than traditional copper network cabling technology (ADSL) per unit of data transmitted. The transaction will therefore lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the green transition of Greece's economy.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 68

The Transition Impact derives from the following transition qualities:

Competitive: By supporting improved access to modern ICT infrastructure and services in currently underserved areas promoting forward linkages

Green: By committing 100% of the Bank's financing towards GET eligible investments, resulting in reduced GHG emission compared to traditional copper network cabling.

Client Information

HELLENIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SA (OTE)

Part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, OTE is the largest technology company in Greece. It offers a wide range of products and services, including fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband services, pay television and integrated information and communications technology (ICT) solutions.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 56,250,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 187,500,000.00

Additionality

The Bank's participation in the operation (i) bridges a gap in the financing market amid challenging market conditions especially in debt capital markets and (ii) supports the Company's commitment to undertake specific measures in favour of gender equality.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (2019 ESP). The Project aims to support the rollout of FTTH broadband by upgrading existing copper infrastructure to households in regions outside of major cities which currently do not have access to fast-speed fibre broadband. A total of approximately 371,000 households in these regions are expected to be passed, bringing significant benefits in terms of speed, capacity and bandwidth to end-users by 2027. The Project will be developed along existing roads and pavements. E&S due diligence by ESD has shown that the E&S risks and impacts associated with the Project are expected to be limited, restricted to the installation phase and addressed through planned standard mitigation measures.

The Company is an existing client of the Bank and previous ESDD and annual E&S reporting has shown that the Client's E&S management provisions are in line with the Bank's requirements. The Client has demonstrated its capacity to comply with EBRD's E&S requirements. ESDD further included a questionnaire and review of the Company's 2020 sustainability report, which indicate a strong commitment to E&S matters, membership of UN Global Compact, certification to various ISO standards and HR policies in line with EU/national requirements. The Client's Fair Employment Policy is in accordance with the national regulatory frameworks in countries of operation and the EU, the United Nations Global Compact. The Company has documented the Code of Conduct, Policy on Employee Relations, Code of Human Rights and Social Principles. The Client has a Health and Safety Policy which complies with the guidelines of the international standard ISO 45001:2018 requirements. OTE Group has also implemented the integrated Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certified according to ISO 14001 standard and Energy Management Systems certified according to ISO 50001 standard (Greece).

In the scope of internal ESDD, E&S risks and impacts associated with the installation phase and permitting, as well as the Do No Significant Harm (DNSH) requirements for the RRF have been assessed. The key Project activities relate to the excavation of small trenches for the installation of fibre optic cables and the closure and reinstatement thereof that are expected to take place along existing public roads, pavements and road reserves. The duration of these activities is short and reinstatement works are rapid. Disturbances to communities are short lived and limited to typical construction impacts like noise, dust and access restrictions. The limited Project impacts are expected to be readily addressed through standard construction mitigation measures including: use of barriers and signage, daytime working, use of low noise equipment, proper waste management implementation including excavation waste, worker and community health and safety, appropriate and effective stakeholder engagement, a chance find procedure and related trainings.

The EU EIA and EU IED Directives are not applicable to the Project as none of the Project activities are covered by these Directives. Some cable installation areas may extend into Natura 2000 areas, however, any impacts are expected to be limited and restricted to existing disturbed areas (like roads and road reserves).  Any requirements of the EU Habitats Directive will be met by the Project. The Project will however require relevant construction permits which will be obtained from all local municipalities and authorities responsible for road supervision. In the case of intercepting other infrastructure such as gas lines, water lines, etc., a written permission is to be obtained from the Gas Company prior to excavations.

Projects under the RRF are required to demonstrate that they Do No Significant Harm (DNSH), which requires application of InvestEU Sustainability Proofing guidance for the climate and environmental dimensions of the Project.  ESDD has confirmed that E&S impacts are low risk and readily mitigated, no detailed sustainability proofing is required and the Project meets the DNSH requirement for RRF. No ESAP is required. The Company will be required to report to the Bank on annual basis regarding the E&S performance of the Project.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

N/A

Company Contact Information

Elisa Mylona (OTE Group Treasurer)
emylona@ote.gr
+30 210 6118946
https://www.cosmote.gr/cs/otegroup/en/corp_homepage.html
99 Kifissias Avenue, GR-15124 Marousi, Athens, Greece

PSD last updated

23 Sep 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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