The EBRD and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are providing a EUR215 million loan to Cibuk 1 wind farm, the largest wind project in Serbia and the Western Balkans to date. The financing package for the EUR300 million wind farm was signed in Belgrade.
The 158 MW Čibuk 1 wind farm is being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana, owned by Tesla Wind which is a joint venture between Masdar, a renewable-energy company based in Abu Dhabi, and Čibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of the US-based wind-energy developer Continental Wind Partners.
Cibuk 1 will be built 50 km to the north-east of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. It will comprise 57 wind turbines supplied by General Electric and will cover an area of about 40 km2. The plant is expected to be connected to the grid in the first half of 2019 and to produce electricity for an estimated 113,000 households, while reducing CO2 emissions by more than 370,000 tonnes.
The construction of the wind farm will also create 400 jobs in the area and contribute to improvements in local infrastructure with, for example, the construction of 50 km of roads.
Cibuk 1 will be Masdar’s fourth wind farm in Europe after the 630 MW London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation, the 402 MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm in England, and Hywind Scotland, a 30 MW floating offshore windpower development situated near the coast of Aberdeenshire.
The EBRD is providing a EUR107.7 million syndicated loan, of which EUR55 million is syndicated to Erste Bank, the Green for Growth Fund, UniCredit and Banca Intesa under an A/B loan structure. In parallel, the World Bank’s IFC is providing EUR107.7, partially through its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and partially through syndicated B loans.
The EBRD is a leading supporter of green energy. Building on a decade of successful green investment, the Bank’s Green Economy Transition approach seeks to increase the volume of green financing from an average of 24 per cent of EBRD Annual Business Investment in the 10 years up to 2016 to 40 per cent by 2020.