IFC to decide on $135 mln Balkan wind farm loans in May

SARAJEVO, April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:00am EDT

SARAJEVO, April 25 (Reuters) - International Finance Corporation (IFC) will decide in May whether to grant 104 million euros in loans to wind projects that will help Serbia and Croatia boost their energy mix and rely less on imports.

The World Bank's private equity arm said the projects could help the Balkan countries meet European Union renewable energy targets in their run-up to accession to the bloc.

"The region suffers from increasing energy deficits, which place a premium on domestic energy generation," the IFC said in a statement on its website.

It said its Board of Directors would meet on May 24 and May 27 to discuss the projects. It did not provide any details on what the board would base the decision on.

One loan of 59.2 million euros ($76.93 million) would go to Electrawinds Serbia, the local unit of Belgian wind farm operator Electrawinds SE which is developing an 80-million euro, 42 megawatt (MW) wind park in the country's northeast.

Another 45 million euros could also help finance the 30 MW Jelinak wind farm in northwestern Croatia developed by a local branch of Spain's Acciona Energy, IFC said. The total cost of the project is estimated at 55 million euros. ($1 = 0.7695 euros) (Reporting By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Michael Kahn and Helen Massy-Beresford)