Albchrome

Location:

Albania

Project number:

51922

Business sector:

Natural resources

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

08 Jun 2021

Status:

Approved

PSD disclosed:

24 Mar 2021

Project Description

Provision of a senior loan of up to USD 7m (EUR 5.9m) in favour of Albchrome Sh.p.k. (the "Company"), a limited liability company incorporated in Albania. The loan will provide medium-term liquidity support to tackle the impact of COVID 19.

Project Objectives

The financing will enable Albchrome to stock up on inventories of key raw materials and increase operational efficiency, improve performance and reduce the costs of production.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 60

(i) Resilient - The project entails addressing current liquidity shortages of the company resulting from the economic imoact of the COVID 19 pandemic;

(ii) Well-governed - The company will develop a climate change roadmap for effective climate action, adopting best international practices on corporate climate governance (i.e. aligning business operations with low-carbon and climate-resilient pathways).

Client Information

ALBCHROME SHPK

Albchrome is the largest and only vertically integrated chrome ore and ferrochrome producer in Albania, owned by Balfin Shpk ("Balfin") or the "sponsor". Balfin is one of the largest business groups in the country with interests in retail, property development and mining. 

EBRD Finance Summary

USD 7,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

USD 7,000,000.00

Additionality

(i) Financing Structure: EBRD offers liquidity support to bridge a financing gap due to adverse market conditions;

(ii) Standard-setting: the client will use EBRD's expertise on higher environmental standards.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (2019 ESP). The environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) was carried out by an independent consultant in accordance with ESD Covid19 guidelines; it included the review of an information package supplied by the client and site visits (by a local team due to COVID-19 travel restrictions) of the two smelters and the underground mine. The Environmental and Social (E&S) risks and impacts associated with providing a working capital loan for the operation of two existing ferrochrome plants are readily identified and will be managed by the implementation of a robust Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP).  The main E&S risks are related to air emissions from the smelters (and overall alignment with Best Available Techniques) and occupational health and safety (especially for the underground operations). These risks will be managed through the ESAP which was discussed and substantially agreed with the client.

Albchrome has a structure in place to ensure compliance with the national regulation. All permits have been obtained for the current activities in Albania. The ESAP requires the development of an integrated health, safety, social and environmental (HSSE) management system (including risk management for suppliers and contractors) and appointment of HSSE officers at Corporate and site levels.  Albchrome has written human resources policies to manage the workforce in accordance with national requirements. A collective agreement is in place in the three production units and 96% of the total employees are reported to be members of the Union. Random worker interviews conducted during ESDD site visit  showed that workers were satisfied with salary and the long-term nature of the job. A formal employee grievance mechanism will be developed as required in the ESAP.  The review of the COVID-19 questionnaire confirmed that Albchrome is not planning salary cuts nor dismissals, and that measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 (as per national guidelines). Should significant labour restructuring take place, the client would be required to ensure that any such measures be conducted in accordance with PR2 and with advance notification to the EBRD.

The ESAP requires i) the installation of dust abatement systems at both smelters , ii) the development and implementation of an Action Plan to ensure alignment with the BAT, iii) reinforcement of monitoring protocols (air, health, noise, water), iv) assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, v) leaching tests of the slag. In relation to occupational health and safety, several improvements are needed as captured in the ESAP, such as carrying out an industrial hygiene assessment at the main working areas and improving the conditions of the emergency underground mine rescue stations (refuge chambers), as well as conducting an external audit on Occupational Health and Safety for both smelter units and the mine. There is no need to acquire additional land for the Project. Albchrome operations are not located close to any recognized archaeological site nor protected area for biodiversity. The ESAP requests the recruitment of a Community Liaison Officer and the implementation of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (including a community grievance mechanism). Albchrome will publish yearly summary results of environmental and social performance on their website.

Due to the sector and risks identified during ESDD for the Albchrome project, the Bank will monitor closely the implementation of the ESAP, through review of annual Environmental and Social Reports (AESR) as well communications with the Company and site visits as necessary.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

EUR 81,000 for environmental and market due-diligence, funded from the Shareholder Special Fund (Western Balkans).

Company Contact Information

Fatos Kaleshi
f.kaleshi@albchrome.al
+355 4 22 42 938
http://www.albchrome.al/
Rr. "Dervish Hima", Pallati Ambasador 3, Kati 1, Nr.3 Tirana, Albania

PSD last updated

24 Mar 2021

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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