BELGRADE (Serbia), September 24 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a 10 million euro ($11.7 million) loan to Serbian recycled cardboard manufacturer Umka as part of a comprehensive investment programme, it said.
The loan will help finance the upgrading of equipment for cardboard production, allowing the company to increase its output, and will also support Umka in the introduction of new, higher-value-added products and improvements to the energy efficiency of its operations, the EBRD said in a statement on Thursday.
"The EBRD is a strong supporter of the circular economy. We want to help Serbian companies tap into the huge potential of this new market in the Western Balkans. Our cooperation with Umka is an example of our commitment to support leading recycling companies in upgrading their facilities, consolidating their position as regional players, and expanding their access to new export markets," Matteo Colangeli, Regional Director for Western Balkans, Head of Serbia, EBRD, said.
The EBRD loan is part of a larger 40 million euro investment package, which includes a 25 million euro loan from the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB), the EBRD noted.
Increased production capacity is expected to lead to an increase in waste-paper collection and recycling in Serbia and the Western Balkans region, where the company has its own waste-paper collection points, the EBRD said.
Umka is a part of the KappaStar Group, a regional leader in the confectionery industry and the paper recycling business. The company exports more than 80% of its production to over 30 countries in Europe.
($ = 0.85112 euro)