Financial close for Vinca waste-to-energy project

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The Belgrade waste-to-energy project in Vinča has reached financial close. As all the conditions of the financing agreement have now been fulfilled, lenders are starting loan disbursements to support the timely implementation of the project.

The new facility will replace Europe’s largest unmanaged landfill, located just 15 kilometers from the center of Belgrade, and holding more than 10 million tonnes of waste after more than four decades of operation. The site will be fully remediated with a new sanitary landfill, a waste-to-energy plant and a modern facility to process construction and demolition waste.

This landmark EUR 370 million (US$ 403.07 million) project is one of the largest public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Serbia to date and brings private funding and expertise to a public sector project. A total of EUR 290 million (US$ 315.92 million) in debt is provided by a pool of lenders.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contributing a EUR 128.25 million (US$ 139.71 million) syndicated loan, including a loan of EUR 72.25 million (US$ 78.70 million) for its own account, a loan of EUR 35 million (US$ 38.12 million) provided by Erste Group Bank AG under the A/B loan structure, and EUR 21 million (US$ 22.87erst million) in concessional finance from the Green Energy Special Fund, which is funded by TaiwanICDF.

Construction of the new facilities started in October 2019 and continued throughout the recent public health measures in Serbia. The private investors – SUEZ (France), ITOCHU Corporation (Japan), and the European fund Marguerite – made sure that project implementation continued despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19-related restrictions, and all preconditions for financial close have been met successfully.

The new landfill will be EU-compliant, with modern waste-management and treatment technology. Replacing the existing landfill will also address a major environmental and health risk, including the pollution of the nearby river Danube.

The 103 MW waste-to-energy facility will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the dependence of Belgrade on fossil fuels. It will have the capacity for a volume of approximately 340,000 tonnes per year of household waste, while the construction and demolition waste facility will treat 200,000 tonnes per year.

The new sanitary landfill, with a capacity of 170,000 tonnes per year, will be finalized by the end of 2020, while project completion and full commercial operations are expected in 2022.

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