The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it is supporting the projects of CEZ Distribuție, electricity distribution company in Romania, with a syndicated loan of up to RON 675 million (EUR 153.7 million).
The projects refer to the 2015-16 investment programmes in the distribution network aiming at reducing losses; improving efficiency and installing smart meters; the restructuring of the company’s balance sheet in order to optimise its capital structure; and the provision of working capital.
CEZ Distribuție has 1.4 million customers in the region of Oltenia in southern Romania. The company is fully-owned by ČEZ Group, an integrated electricity utility headquartered in the Czech Republic with operations in Central and Southeastern Europe and Turkey. The funding is structured in a EUR 64 million A loan for the EBRD’s own account and a B loan portion of up to EUR 89.7 million for the account of syndication participants, according to the press release on the bank’s website. It is its first long tenor local currency syndicated loan to a corporate in Romania.
The introduction of smart meters and the creation of the basis for smart grids will be another major step forward and lead to higher efficiency for the benefit of the provider, the clients and, of course, the environment, said Nandita Parshad, director for power and energy at the EBRD.
Matteo Patrone, EBRD’s director for Romania, added: „A state-of-the-art electricity network is another step towards unleashing the potential of Romania’s economy. It is an excellent example of an infrastructure investment which will have a lasting impact and benefit commercial customers as well as private households by rewarding responsible and sensible consumption.”
Martin Zmelik, country manager and president of the Board of ČEZ Romania, said: „We will continue to invest in the modernisation of the distribution grid in our operation area, as we committed to 10 years ago when we first entered Romania, and to optimise our internal processes in order to provide a high quality distribution service to our clients.”
Romania was the sixth country by volume of EBRD’s investments in 2014, with almost EUR 600 million. To date, the bank has invested over EUR 7 billion in the country and has also mobilized more than EUR 14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.