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HomeFinanceEBRD 29 mln euros for 140 MW Karavasta solar farm in Albania

EBRD 29 mln euros for 140 MW Karavasta solar farm in Albania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend 29 million euros to an Albanian special-purpose vehicle, owned by France’s Voltalia, to develop a new 140 MW (megawatts) ‘Karavasta solar farm’ in the Fier area in south-west Albania, the Bank announced on Monday (24 April).

The project’s total cost is estimated at 135 million euros and is co-financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, Privredna Banka Zagreb and Voltalia’s own resources. Ninenty-nine million euros is needed to implement the project, for which the EBRD is mobilising “significant and innovation innovative commercial debt participation,” the Bank said.

“We are proud to see this project reach financial close. It will contribute meaningfully to the diversification of local generation sources, which to date have been mostly hydro. Nationally, the project will significantly increase the share of Albania’s solar power generation, helping further to reduce the effects of climate change,” commented Grzegorz Zielinski, EBRD Director, Head of Energy for Europe.

This will be Albania’s first large utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant, as a result of the country’s first competitive solar power auction following the introduction of the EBRD Renewable Energy Auctions Programme.

“This is an excellent example of impactful and business-enabling policy engagement combined with skilful project finance structuring that leads to concrete results for the country,” said Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Director for the Western Balkans.

Since the Karavasta auction, the EBRD has assisted the Albanian authorities with a solar PV auction at Spitalla in the Durres region (east Albania) and it is currently assisting with a 150 MW onshore wind auction. Additionally, the Bank is providing support to an upcoming 300 MW solar PV auction expected in June, which will mark the largest solar auction in the region.

“The Karavasta Solar Project is a milestone for the transition towards a diversified renewable energy mix in Albania. Today’s signing is proof of the quality and sustainability of the project,” said Constantin von Alvensleben, Voltalia’s Country Manager for Albania. “Voltalia has benefitted from a long-standing relationship and full alignment with the EBRD on all important aspects of the project. It is, therefore, a great moment for all stakeholders, including other lenders – IFC and Intesa Sanpaolo – as well as the government of Albania as the contractual partner of the project agreements.”

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