Svoghe Hydro Project

Location:

Bulgaria

Project number:

52319

Business sector:

Energy

Notice type:

Private

Approval date:

24 Mar 2021

Status:

Approved

PSD disclosed:

20 Jan 2021

Project Description

Long term financing for existing client VEZ Svoghe AD in the context of the company's acquisition by an experienced renewable energy developer. The proceeds of the loan will be used to refinance the existing EBRD loan and provide additional funds to enable the sponsor to develop new greenfield renewable energy projects (wind or solar) in countries where the EBRD invests, of a minimum amount equivalent to the EBRD loan amount.

Project Objectives

The EBRD loan will support the sponsor, an experienced international renewable operator to expand its activities in Bulgaria and enable the development and financing of its renewable energy pipeline in Central and Southeast Europe to be constructed over the next four years.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 60

The project's transition impact stems from increasing the competitiveness of the borrower via new operational approaches that will have a significant effect on the efficiency of client operations ("competitive" quality). The transaction will also enable the sponsor to invest in new renewable energy projects (wind or solar) in countries where the EBRD invests ("green" quality).

Client Information

VEZ SVOGHE AD

VEZ Svoghe AD, a Bulgarian company owns and operates a portfolio of five small hydro power plants with a total installed capacity of 15.5MW along the river Iskar.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 17,600,000.00

Up to EUR 17.6 million of senior secured debt to be provided to VEZ Svoghe AD.

Total Project Cost

EUR 28,000,000.00

EBRD financing will be part of a larger financing package, co-financed by a commercial lender on a parallel basis. Total financing will be for the amount of up to EUR 28 million, where the parallel lender will provide up to EUR 10.5 million.

Additionality

The Bank's loan will provide long-term project financing with a structure, which includes a significant portion of merchant revenues and as such, is not typically available on the market. The project will also mobilise additional commercial funding to be provided by a local parallel financing bank.

Environmental and Social Summary

The Project has been Categorised B in line with the 2019 ESP: the small hydro plants are known to the EBRD under the management of the Borrower and EBRD has appointed independent consultants to monitor the project implementation arrangements and operational performance, most recently in 2018. E&S monitoring reports have confirmed that the assets were operating in line with EBRD's Performance Requirements with some minor recommendations to be addressed to ensure compliance with national permitting requirements.

Under the new transaction, the requirements for project monitoring and reporting will be increased to ensure good international practice is met as stipulated by the more recent iterations of EBRD's ESP and associated guidance notes for the hydropower sector.

In addition to the monitoring reports commissioned by EBRD, the Borrower has provided biodiversity monitoring reports, which indicate that measures to mitigate impacts on aquatic biodiversity have been effective. Furthermore, the Sponsor has undertaken pre-acquisition technical due diligence which confirmed the assets are operating in line with national E&S permit conditions with some recommendations for E&S improvements in the operational regime.

As no new construction activities are planned as part of this transaction, the focus on operational optimisation and E&S improvement is achievable with a commitment to good E&S stewardship. An E&S Acton Plan has been developed and includes measures to implement all existing E&S recommendations in a timely manner and to undertake a detailed post-acquisition review of the operations against EBRD's Good Practice Note for small-HPPs.

In addition, the company is committed to reviewing corporate level E&S policies and developing procedures to bring all exist portfolio assets in line with EBRD's requirements and to structure any potential future projects to meet the Performance Requirements.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

N/a

Company Contact Information

Svetlin Pislenski
pislenss@ebrd.com

PSD last updated

19 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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