2024-07-14
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/46658-erste-group-helps-finance-landmark-wind-farm-project-in-romania

Erste Group helps finance landmark wind farm project in Romania

+++ Banking consortium provides Rezolv Energy and Low Carbon with up to EUR 291 mn for first phase of wind farm project in Romania +++ VIFOR project’s first phase involves 192 MW installation, with planned expansion to 461 MW in second phase +++ Once fully operational, VIFOR will generate clean energy for over 270,000 households +++

Image: Pixabay RomaniaImage: Pixabay Romania

Erste Group Bank AG (Erste Group) and its Romanian subsidiary Banca Comercial? Român? (BCR) are leading members of the consortium of commercial banks and international financial institutions that has provided up to EUR 291 million in funding for the first phase of the VIFOR wind farm project in Romania.

Rezolv Energy and Low Carbon, through their project subsidiary First Looks Solutions S.R.L., have secured finance loan facilities of up to EUR 291 million to support the Phase 1 construction of VIFOR, a major wind farm project located in Romania. The consortium of financing banks was led by Erste Group, UniCredit International Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), joined by Banca Comercial? Român?, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Intesa Sanpaolo, Všeobecná úverová banka, OTP Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, and Garanti BBVA Romania.

“Erste Group is proud to partner with Rezolv Energy and Low Carbon on this important energy transition project. Erste Group is firmly dedicated to investing in CEE’s sustainable development and to fostering the region’s financial health. The VIFOR wind park represents a noteworthy contribution to Romania’s green energy transition and is also significant for the wider region. Together with our clients, we will continue supporting the transition to greener energy across our core markets,” said Wolfgang Hargassner, Head of Corporate Finance at Erste Group.

The VIFOR project adds to the track record that Erste Group and its local banking subsidiaries have in aiding the energy transition in the CEE region, where they have been supporting the development of wind energy with long-term project financing for more than a decade.  Erste Group’s recent transactions in the renewable energy sphere include playing a leading role in financing projects from such prominent industry participants as Eurowind (the 48 MW Pecineaga wind farm in Romania), GoldenPeaks (a 64.5 MW solar PV portfolio in Hungary), Enlight (the 94 MW Pupin wind farm in Serbia), and Baltic Power (a 1,140 MW offshore wind farm in Poland).

VIFOR to provide clean energy for 270,000 households

The first phase of the VIFOR project will install 192 MW in capacity underpinned by three landmark commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs). Construction is scheduled to be completed within 18 months, with the wind farm coming onstream before the end of 2025. A planned expansion to 461 MW will take place in Phase 2.

Once fully operational, VIFOR will be one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms, covering a total area of 2,869 hectares in Buz?u County, north-east of Bucharest. Close to the Carpathian Mountains and benefiting from exceptional wind yields, the project will generate enough clean energy to power more than 270,000 homes and will avoid approximately 180,000 tonnes of CO2e annually. The project will support Romania in meeting its climate targets and play an important role in the region’s energy transition.

Alastair Hammond, CEO of Rezolv Energy: “We are delighted to have secured this support from such a prestigious group of supranational lending partners, regional commercial lenders and local banks. Their support is recognition of the vital role of large-scale projects like VIFOR in the energy transition in South Eastern Europe. They are also a response to our sustainability strategy, which is designed to ensure that we set a standard for the responsible development of renewable energy projects in this region which others will be inspired to follow. That was an important factor for all of the banks.”

Committed to sustainability

In approving the loans for VIFOR’s phase one, the consortium’s banks acknowledged Rezolv’s approach to sustainability, which has been built on industry best practice and adheres to international standards, including the Equator Principles and the IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards. One of its pillars is striving to ensure that each of its renewable energy plants supports flourishing and sustainable ecosystems.

In addition to the environmental benefits, VIFOR will create local jobs both during construction and operation, deliver economic benefits to the local community, and support community initiatives in Buz?u County aimed at ensuring that the project leaves a lasting, positive legacy for local people.

 

Source:
Erste Group Bank AG
Author:
Peter Klopf
Email:
peter.klopf@erstegroup.com







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