RF - SwoodS

Location:

Belarus

Project number:

52176

Business sector:

Manufacturing and Services

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

B

Approval date:

18 Jun 2021

Status:

Passed Final Review, Pending Approval

PSD disclosed:

10 Jun 2020

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 provision of a senior secured loan of up to €2 million to SwoodS Export FLLC ("SwoodS"). The new loan will bridge a liquidity gap due to adverse market conditions related to the COVID-19 crisis. The loan will be used for working capital purposes and to compensate limited availability of medium-term working capital financing from local commercial banks.This project was approved in the context of the Bank's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Project Objectives

The loan will be used for working capital purposes

Transition Impact

ETI score: 100

The goal of this COVID-19 response financing is to preserve the TI gains achieved under the latest project with this client.

The latest operation with Swoods Export FLLC was DFF Swoods Sawmill (DTM 48890). The project was approved with ETI of 80 (Strong Good/High) and set the following TI objectives:

- Competitive: The client acquired an existing but outdated facility in 2012 and started an extensive capex programme to modernise and expand production across several product lines. This is expected to improve company's operational efficiency. The transition impact of the project is specifically derived from the increase of yield ratio of logs-to-sawn timber, installation of new sawmilling and sorting lines together with the integrated management system.

Progress to date: According to the latest TIMS review (September 2019) objectives under Competitive quality have been achieved.

- Well governed: The programme envisages installation of a CHP plant and more modern up-to-date production equipment, which will improve resource efficiency and demonstrate the viability of such investments in Belarus. In addition, the client will introduce IFRS accounting.

Progress to date: According to the latest TIMS review, IFRS accounting has been introduced, while the energy efficiency indicator is not yet applicable for reviewing (to be reviewed during the next TIMS review).

The latest TIMS review for the DFF Swoods Sawmill project (DTM 48890) indicates that the project has achieved most of the transition impact monitoring indicator with one remaining on track, thus achieving the PTI score of 100 (Strong Good/Medium).

Client Information

SWOODS EXPORT FLLC

SwoodS Export FLLC operates manufacturing facilities in Borisov, Belarus, consisting of 3 main business lines: (i) sawmill which produces construction timber; (ii) furniture plant producing shelving units and bed slats and (iii) wood pellet production facility, where pellets are used mainly as fuel for residential heating in European markets. SwoodS is part of the VMG group of companies, one of the largest Lithuanian groups engaged in particleboard and furniture production and related activities.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 2,000,000.00

Senior secured loan of up to €2 million to SwoodS Export FLLC ("SwoodS")

Total Project Cost

EUR 2,000,000.00

Toal Project Cost is €2 million

Additionality

COVID-19 crisis response: EBRD financing effectively bridges a liquidity gap due to adverse market conditions. In light of COVID-19 situation and uncertainty over the effects on the economy, current market conditions for new lending are limited.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (ESP 2019), Low Medium risk based on the Client's capacity and track record to carry out its operations in line with the EBRD PRS. The ESDD for this project was carried out in line with COVID 19 approach and was based on the past ESDD for the previous transaction (DTM 48890) and a review of provided by 2019 AESRs with respective ESAPs compliance status.

The ESDD has confirmed that ESH capacities of SwoodS are established at a satisfactory level, the particleboard plant is managed in compliance with national laws and in line with E&S management systems and EHS procedures according to industry best practice, including regular internal audits and management reporting. Applied standards and audits cover areas aligned with Bank's PRs, such as air quality, noise emissions, water use and waste water handling, soil and groundwater contamination, chemicals and hazardous materials, business ethics, ILO core labour standards, working conditions, occupational health & safety, fire prevention, etc. SwoodS maintain sustainable wood supply policies and practices that are certified for compliance with the FSC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) and Controlled Wood (CW) standards. BAT Assessments by independent auditors were done for the plants and overall compliance confirmed with additional corrective actions plans outlined.

SwoodS demonstrated sufficient progress in implementing the agreed ESAPs. There are adequate traffic safety measures implemented specific to the wood supply operations and on-site transportation of raw materials and final goods, and appropriate training of the drivers on road safety performed on time. There are a number of resource efficiency measures in place, including energy savings from onsite biomass boilers running on wood waste from the processes.

SwoodS sawmill operations are carried out in line with national laws and good industry practice, and the Company's waste management and fire safety measures improvements are noted in 2019 AESR. However, SwoodS sawmill dust emissions are above 50mg/m3 benchmark, and further mitigation measures to address this are set up for the next year. The Company's labour practices and working conditions go beyond sector and country standards, as well as their stakeholder engagement practices and community investment programmes, including support of local sports teams, schools, hospitals and tree planting events. The ESDD confirmed that the existing ESAP is adequate and does not need to be updated for this RF transaction. The Bank will continue to monitor the Project and the ESAPs implementation through review of Annual E&S Reports and future site visits as required.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

None

Company Contact Information

Ingrida Mikenaite
ingrida.mikenaite@vmg.eu
+370 46469423
www.mediena.lt
Liepu g. 68, LT-92100 Klaipeda Lithuania

PSD last updated

10 Jun 2020

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:

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Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

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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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