Grajewo and Sulmierzyce wind farms

Location:

Poland

Project number:

52746

Business sector:

Energy

Notice type:

Private

Environmental category:

IESE

Approval date:

21 Jul 2021

Status:

Approved

PSD disclosed:

16 Jun 2021

Project Description

Provision of a long-term senior secured loan of up to PLN 175 million (€38.9 million) to Contino Polska Sp. z o.o. and Contino Zeta Sp. z o.o., two Polish companies owned by DIF Capital Partners, for the acquisition, construction and operation of the Grajewo and Sulmierzyce wind farms of 40MW and 23.1MW capacity, respectively.

Project Objectives

The project will contribute to climate change mitigation and Polish energy green transition by increasing the share of renewable energy generation in Poland and add 63.1 MW wind generation capacity to the national energy system. In addition, the project will strengthen the private sector's role in the renewable energy sector in Poland.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 60

The project will target the "Green" transition quality by supporting the construction of two wind farms with a total installed capacity of 63.1MW. This capacity will replace coal-fired plants in the generation mix with expected associated CO2 savings of over 139.5 thousand tonnes annually.

Client Information

CONTINO POLSKA SP ZOO

The borrowers (Contino Polska Sp. z o.o. and Contino Zeta Sp. z o.o.) are private companies incorporated in Poland, established with the sole purpose of constructing and operating the Grajewo and Sulmierzyce wind farms.

EBRD Finance Summary

PLN 175,000,000.00

Additionality

The Bank's additionality stems from supporting renewable energy, which is particularly critical under the currently difficult market conditions.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B in accordance with 2019 ESP. Development and operation of two wind farms, first with capacity of 23.1 MW comprising of 7 wind turbine generators (WTGs) of 3.5 MW each in Sulmierzyce and second one with capacity 40 MW comprising 12 wind turbine generators (WTGs) of 3.5 MW each in Grajewo. Site specific environmental and social impacts of the Project were assessed as part of due diligence. These can be minimised through implementation of mitigation measures and relevant monitoring and management techniques. Both sub projects were approved by relevant Competent Authorities in 2015, following EIA procedures with public engagement. The original permits were for 10 and 22 WTGs respectively. Ultimately, due to both social economic considerations, a smaller capacity than originally permitted will be installed and such smaller capacity obtained valid construction permits in 2016 and 2019. Both Projects have valid permits and are included in the local development plans.

 

An independent ESDD was undertaken which confirmed that each of the wind farms is compliant with national legislation and appropriate EIA process was undertaken in compliance with the EU EIA Directive, Habitats and Birds Directives, including those related to Appropriate Assessment. The Consultant also confirmed that the project and each wind farm is designed to meet EBRD PRs.

 

The ESDD included a review of the National EIAs and other documentation and activities related to project planning and included updated biodiversity surveys of both sites undertaken in May 2021 by independent ornithologists. The ESDD confirmed that the developer has the institutional capacity to implement the Bank's PRs.

 

The Grajewo sub-project is located in the rural area of Grajewo municipality, north- east Poland, mainly on agricultural land, with some meadow and pastures, outside of protected areas and is in compliance with local development plans. The closest Special bird protection zone Ostoja Biebrzanska (PLB200006) located 2.5 kilometres to the east from the closes turbine and Protected Landscape Area Wzgorza Dybowskie located 1.5 kilometres to the west. The ESDD and the updated biodiversity survey have confirmed that the project complies with EBRD PR6, the EIA was undertaken in line with Appropriate Assessment requirements and the project will not have an impact on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site, there are no Priority Biodiversity Features present on site and no Critical Habitats will be impacted. The Project area is not part of the migration corridor for birds. Despite proximity to the SPA (Special Protection Areas), the concentration of birds occurs at migratory corridor 15 kilometres away from the site. Protected bird species from Annex 1 to Birds Directive appear occasionally and are all species abundantly present in Poland. Bats present on site are common species observed abundantly in Poland. Some of the amphibians found are rare in Poland, although the sub-project will not impact their population status, mating or migration.

The Sulmierzyce sub-project is located in Sulmierzyce municipality in south-west Poland, mainly on agricultural land with some sparsely located trees and shrubs and is in compliance with local zoning plan. The project site is located in the proximity of a number of protected sites: Dabrowy Krotoszynskie (PLB300007) SPA and Uroczyska Plyty Krotoszynskiej (PLH300002) SAC (Special Area of Conservation) are located approximately 300 meters from the Project area, Ostoja nad Barzyca (PLH20041) SAC is located approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Project area, and Barycz Valley (PLB020001) SPA is 2.5 kilometres away. The N2000 areas have been set up for the procreation of bird species and grassland, meadow and riparian habitats. The ESDD undertook a detailed review of the available document and the status of protection of the Natura 2000 areas and concluded that the wind farm will not have a material impact on the integrity of the N2000 areas and their conservation objectives. With respect to birds, the ESDD confirmed that there are no permanent habitats or breeding grounds for key bird species in the Project area. There were no regular high concentrations of migrating birds and no foraging or roosting concentrations. Low concentrations of stationary, migratory and hunting birds of prey were observed during the field studies, however these are only found periodically and short-term. The EIA and the supplementary biodiversity assessment form 2021 concludes that the Project will not cause any significant negative consequences regarding key bird species. Bat assessment concluded that impacts on bat species are low. The ESDD confirmed the Project complies with PR6.

 

Both environmental permits refer to good construction practices, construction outside of the birds nesting and breeding period (1st March -31st August) and with supervision of the experienced ornithologist. The Operator will also carry out birds and bats mortality monitoring for three out of five years following the wind farm construction/operation and will report results regularly to the Lenders. Based on the results further mitigation measures (shut downs at specific times) may be imposed and are covenanted in the ESAP. Noise monitoring to be undertaken 2 months from the start of operations.

 

The closest residential developments are over 500 meters away from the wind farms. Based on the EIA and confirmed by the ESDD, noise and shadow flicker impacts are considered negligible; however, the noise monitoring post construction is required to confirm the findings. In case of any exceedances of night time values, operational restrictions at night will be imposed for WTG6, WTG7 at Sulmierzyce site. Ice/blade throw risk is minimised by low use of rural (dirt track) roads surrounding the development. Developer has reached long-term agreements for the land lease from the local community.

 

 

The ESAP has been developed to address risks mainly related to construction stage impacts, including development of detailed Traffic Management Plan and Construction EHS Management Plan; workforce labour and working conditions aligned with PR2; post construction noise and biodiversity monitoring, implementation of SEP and grievance mechanism. NTS and SEP have been developed for the Project and will be disclosed.

 

The Bank will monitor the project through review of AESRs and site visits as required.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

N/A

Company Contact Information

Marieke Lely, Director
M.Lely@dif.eu
+31 6 20 05 01 53

Implementation summary


PSD last updated

16 Jun 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.

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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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