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BELGRADE (Serbia), September 12 (SeeNews) - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) said on Tuesday it is lending 19.1 million euro ($22.8 million) to Belgian renewable energy firm Elicio for the construction of the 42 MW Alibunar wind farm in Serbia.
The IFC signed an agreement for the financing of the Alibunar construction, involving two loans of 15.5 million euro and of 3.6 million euro on June 28, and completed its syndication on September 11, the lending institution said in a statement.
Unicredit, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Green for Growth Fund (GGF) have agreed to provide a further 40 million euro in loans to the project, which will help boost Serbia’s renewable energy production and improve the energy mix and electricity supply for homes and businesses in the northern province of Vojvodina, the IFC said.
"IFC’s strong involvement and backing demonstrate the strength of the project, and also Serbia’s ability and willingness to attract large investments in renewable energy," the general manager of Elicio, Ludo Vandervelden, said. "The recent amendments to the renewable energy laws paved the way for us to reach this important milestone and finally start construction, after years of groundbreaking development work."
With 70% of its electricity generation stemming from older coal-fired plants, Serbia is among the largest greenhouse gas emitters per capita in Europe with an unused renewable energy capacity. The project will help diversify Serbia’s aged and highly pollutant generation mix, reduce an estimated 123,644 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year, and create between 70 and 100 jobs by 2018, the IFC said.
"The Alibunar wind farm is the largest wind farm project financed in Serbia up to date. IFC’s support for renewable energy is an important part of our work to address climate change and improve access to infrastructure," IFC’s Head of Infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, Wiebke Schloemer, noted.
The project’s wind turbine provider will be Senvion, a US private equity-owned manufacturer that will also be the project’s operation and maintenance contractor. Unicredit Serbia will act as account bank, VAT lender and interest hedging provider alongside IFC.
($ = 0.837386 euro)