Europe

EU approves €60.4 million funding for windfarms at Poland’s Banie and Sepopol

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing with a local currency loan of PLN 275 million (€60.4 million equivalent) the construction and operation of two windfarms in Poland that will help the country accelerate its transition from fossil fuels with the development.

The loan is financing two separate projects, with a parallel commercial lender, Banco Santande, who benefits from a partial guarantee from Denmark’s Export Credit Agency (EKF), providing the same amount within a PLN 550 million financing package. Santander Bank Polska is acting as Agent, Security Agent and Account Bank, the EBRD said in a press release.

According to the EBRD, the first is the 81.4 MW Banie 3 development in northwestern Poland, where 37 turbines will be built. The Bank provided finance for Banie 1 and 2 in 2016. The second is at Sepopol in north-eastern Poland, where 20 wind turbines will be constructed with a capacity of 44 MW.

The EBRD loans will be divided between the two farms, with PLN 91.6 million (€20.1 million) going to Derickar Investments, owner of Sepopol windfarm, and PLN 183.4 million (€40.3 million) to Gaberpoint Investments, owner of Banie 3. Both are Polish companies ultimately owned the Israeli renewables company Energix Renewable Energies.

Poland is committed to reducing its dependency on generating energy from coal with harmful effects on the environment and human health. Since the country relies on coal for 70% of its electricity generation, it faces one of the most significant energy transition challenges of all the Bank’s countries of operations.

Renewable energy is vital to the transition, and finance for it has become scarcer given the disruption caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic. These projects, expected to generate more than 348.3 GWh of renewable zero carbon electricity that will lead to CO2 savings of at least 266,300 tonnes per year, support the country’s ongoing energy transition.

Poland is actively growing its renewable energy sector, and aims to almost double the proportion of final energy consumption from renewables from 12.2% at the end of 2019 to 23% in 2030.

As of 2020, Poland’s installed wind capacity was 6.4 GW, representing 51% of its renewable energy capacity. Polish renewables are expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades, which is also reconfirmed by ambitious targets set by Polish Authorities in the recently approved Energy Strategy.

The new plants will help fulfil Poland’s contribution to the EU climate and energy targets for 2030, which include a cut of at least 55 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions, the EBRD said.

Since the start of operations in 1991, the EBRD has invested nearly €10.9 billion in 457 projects of all sectors of the economy in Poland. Supporting the country’s green transition with investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency remains one of the Bank’s priorities in Poland.

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