The FINANCIAL — The EBRD has signed the first project under its new framework for renewable energy in Greece by subscribing to €28.3 million in bonds issued by Hellenic Petroleum, an energy company which is diversifying its activities into the area of renewables.
The funds will support the company in developing a pipeline of photovoltaic and wind projects with a combined capacity of 190 MW, according to EBRD.
The total volume of the bond issuance was €450 million in two tranches, with the EBRD subscribing to the second tranche of €74.5 million alongside the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and other selected institutional investors.
The EBRD launched its Greek Renewable Energy Framework in March 2017. The goal of the €300 million facility is to finance investments in electricity generation from renewable sources and in electricity distribution and transmission capacity to improve efficiency, reduce losses and enable the integration of renewables into the grid.
The Framework followed the establishment by Greece of a market-based, renewable-energy support scheme that introduces competitive auctions to replace fixed-price feed-in tariffs. Hellenic Petroleum’s renewables subsidiary, Elpe Renewables, submitted successful bids for three photovoltaic power plants in the first such auction and has more projects under preparation.
The EBRD’s Framework is designed to support Greece in realising its huge potential for renewable energy. Strengthening solar, wind, biomass and geothermal sources will lessen the dependence on fossil fuels and imports.
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director, Power and Energy Utilities, said: “We are very pleased to support Hellenic Petroleum in diversifying their business into renewable energy. Our new renewables support scheme in Greece lays a sustainable foundation for the development of the sector, in particular by using a competitive mechanism. The success of such a strong and experienced company as Hellenic Petroleum is a real endorsement for that mechanism.”
Andreas Shiamishis, Deputy CEO & CFO of Hellenic Petroleum, added: “The EBRD has been a long-standing partner of Hellenic Petroleum and this transaction presents us with another opportunity to increase the scope of our cooperation. The EBRD’s commitment to Greece and the renewables sector is aligned with our own strategy and supports economic growth and investment in the country.”
Projects under the Greek Renewable Energy Framework have to be fully compliant with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. Under this strategic goal the EBRD aims to raise its annual business investment in green energy to 40 per cent by 2020. Greenness is among the six transition qualities the Bank has identified as the characteristics of a successful economy, along with competitiveness, inclusion, good governance, resilience and integration.
The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested some €1.2 billion in 22 projects in the financial, energy, infrastructure and agribusiness sectors of the Greek economy.
Between 2007 and 2016 the EBRD invested more than €3.5 billion directly in renewable energy across all its countries of operations, supporting 104 projects in 23 countries, and funding more than 5.3 GW of capacity.