IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, UniCredit Bank Austria and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, OPIC, are lending about 155 million euro to SunEdison to finance construction of the 60,4 MWp Karadzhalovo solar power plant.
The lenders said that by doing so, they were supporting Bulgaria’s strategy to increase its renewable energy production.
IFC, OPIC and UniCredit jointly arranged financing of this project.
IFC provided 46.1 million euro and mobilised a further 41.1 million euro from UniCredit through a syndication loan, while OPIC provided a 50 million euro parallel loan.
UniCredit Bulbank acted as the Bulgarian local bank and provided a local currency VAT facility worth about 30 million euro (58.7 million leva). The value of the transaction totals the equivalent of 155 million euro.
US-based SunEdison is a leading global solar power system developer, a media statement said.
The Karadzhalovo plant is in southern Bulgaria, close Plovdiv in the municipality of Purvomai, and will be among the largest solar installations in Europe.
The new solar plant will support Bulgaria in its development of renewable energy capacity, and demonstrate the country’s ability to attract large investments. This project is being implemented in a time of considerable global economic uncertainty, the statement said.
Tomasz Telma, IFC director for Europe and Central Asia, said, "IFC’s support for renewable energy is an important part of our work to address climate change. This is our second renewable energy investment in Bulgaria, following the financing of the St. Nikola wind farm in 2008. The investment in Karadzhalovo is our largest single solar financing to date".
Gianni Franco Papa, deputy CEO and head of CEE Division at UniCredit Bank Austria, said, "We are contributing to the establishment of Karadzhalovo solar power plant by SunEdison with our comprehensive expertise in arranging complex loans. Together with SunEdison and supranational institutions IFC and OPIC, we put this flagship project in renewable energy on a financially sound and competitive foundation".
Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC president and chief executive, said, "OPIC is partnering with IFC, SunEdison and UniCredit to support a solar solution for Bulgaria’s growing demand for energy. These types of public-private collaborations – using development finance to leverage private sector investment in state-of-the-art technologies – point the way to ever-increasing use of renewable energy sources in developing regions around the world".