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News/ Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Financing of the Largest Windfarm in the Western Balkans
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24/10/2017
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Karanović & Nikolić advised the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the EUR 215 million financing of Čibuk 1, developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana.

The facility agreement was signed in Belgrade, on the 16th of October, 2017.

The Karanović & Nikolić legal team – led by Maja Jovančević Šetka and Petar Mitrović, acting as the local counsel for EBRD and IFC, advised on all local law aspects of the financing, including the preparation of due diligence and support in the negotiations of the facility agreement and other financing and project documents. Norton Rose Fulbright from London acted as the international counsel to the lenders.

The 215 million euro financing is divided equally between the EBRD and the IFC.

The EBRD is providing a EUR 107.7 million syndicated loan, 55 million euros of which are syndicated to B lenders.

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing 107.7 million euros through its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and partially through syndicated B loans.

The developer, Vetroelektrane Balkana, is owned by Tesla Wind – 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.

With an installed capacity of 158 MW, Čibuk 1 will be the largest windfarm in the Western Balkans. The wind farm will consist of 57 GE wind turbines and will cover an area of approximately 40 square kilometres. Čibuk 1 is expected to provide electricity to 113 thousand households and reduce carbon emissions by more than 370,000 tonnes.

According to estimates, the plant will be connected to the grid in the first half of 2019. The construction of Čibuk 1 is expected to create 400 jobs in the area, as well as improve the local infrastructure by providing for 50 kilometres of roads. The project should give a critical contribution to Serbia meeting its commitment to have 27% of its gross energy consumption coming from renewable energy sources by 2020.

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