June 5, 2018 / 11:39 AM / 2 years ago

GGF to provide $37.4 million for Serbia's first wind farms

BELGRADE (Reuters) - The Green for Growth Fund (GGF) said on Tuesday it would provide 32 million euros ($37.44 million) financing for Serbia’s first large-scale wind farms, to help the Balkan country diversify its energy mix and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

FILE PHOTO: Power-generating windmill turbines are seen during sunset at a wind park near Reims, France, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

GGF, founded by the European Investment Bank (EIB) [EIB.UL] and German state bank KfW [KFW.UL] as a public private partnership, is a specialized fund for advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy in East and South Europe, including Turkey, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.

The fund said it would provide 18.35 million euros for the 158 megawatt (MW) Cibuk windfarm, Serbia’s biggest, which will be built 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of Belgrade.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) [EBRD.UL] and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) [IFK.UL] have already pledged to provide 215 million euros for the project, partially through a syndicated loan.

The wind farm is being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana, owned by Tesla Wind, a joint venture between an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy developer Masdar and Cibuk Wind Holding, a branch of the U.S.-based wind energy developer Continental Wind Partners.

It will comprise 57 turbines supplied by General Electric with a capacity to supply 113,000 households.

GGF said it would also support the 42 MW Alibunar wind farm with 13.5 million euros of financing through an IFC loan.

The Alibunar wind farm, which will have 21 wind turbines provided by German wind turbine manufacturer Senvion, is being developed by Elicio NV, a Belgian renewable energy firm, near the town of Alibunar in northeastern Serbia.

The plants are the first of a number to be developed in the next few years in Serbia, which produces 70 percent of its energy from coal and the rest from hydro power and aims to generate 27 percent of its energy consumption from renewables by 2020.

“Through these two projects, the GGF will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50,000 metric tonnes per year,” it said in a statement.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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