Erste Group said on June 18 it arranged financing of €51mn for the first private wind energy project in North Macedonia, Bogoslovec, with a capacity of 36 MW.
The project is part of North Macedonia’s goals to shift its power generation, which is still dominated by lignite, to renewable energy sources. The country aims to increase its national renewables capacity to above 50% by 2024, which translates into an additional 400 MW and 160 MW of solar and wind power, respectively.
“Acting as the sole mandated lead arranger, major senior lender and agent, Erste Group arranged and structured the transaction and invited local banks, including Sparkasse Bank Makedonija, to be among the institutions providing financing with a 17-year tenor,” Erste said in the statement.
The total debt package for Bogoslovec also includes a junior debt tranche of €10mn from Austria’s development bank Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB).
“The Bogoslovec wind park marks another important contribution to the transition to greener energy in the Western Balkans. We will continue supporting that transition across our core markets,” Ingo Bleier, chief corporates and markets officer at Erste Group, said.
The total cost of the wind power project, to be built 80 km southeast of Skopje near the village of Bogoslovec, is €61mn.
The completion of the project is scheduled for early 2023.
The eight wind turbines will be manufactured and installed by Siemens Gamesa.
Bogoslovec is only the second wind park project in North Macedonia, following the Bogdanci project commissioned by the state utility ESM in 2015. Bogoslovec will sell its power at a feed-in tariff under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state market operator.
A majority of 65% of the shares in the Bogoslovec project is held by a local family holding, BNB Kompani, that operates five small hydro power plants and has developed the project up to the permitting stage. BNB has teamed up with the 35% minority investor, the investment fund Green for Growth (GGF).
“BNB Kompani is proud to be part of the first private wind farm to be built in North Macedonia. We will produce clean energy for more than 20,000 households in our country, while exercising demanding ecological and social practices,” said Blashko Lazarevski, CEO of Thor Impex, the project company developing Bogoslovec.