A portfolio of five operational hydroelectric power plants in Bulgaria with a capacity of 15.5MW have successfully been refinanced, France-based power producer Akuo has announced, with RGREEN INVEST through its INFRAGREEN IV fund on board as a 49% joint shareholder of the assets.
This deal follows the acquisition in March 2021 of PVB Power Bulgaria, operator of the hydroelectric plants which have been operational since 2010-2013 and are located on the Iskar river near Svoghe. Bridge funding from Eiffel Energy Transition Fund made the acquisition possible while the banking refinancing was undertaken by the EBRD and UniCredit Bulbank. The refinancing operation enables Akuo to free up financial resources that will be used to develop other greenfield renewable projects in the EBRD’s countries of operation.
Bulgaria has set a target of increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity mix to over 30% by 2030. This target includes a 2.6GW increase in the country’s renewable electricity capacity to reach almost 7GW by that time. The Svoghe portfolio will significantly bolster national efforts to meet this objective: by covering the electricity consumption of more than 20,000 Bulgarian households, it represents the equivalent of 35,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually, said Akuo.
“Today more than ever, the EBRD and UniCredit’s involvement in this renewable energy project sends a strong signal for Bulgaria’s energy independence. We could not have dreamt of better partners in 2022 to accompany this project,” said Eric Scotto, Chairman and co-founder of Akuo.
“This operation breaks new ground for RGREEN INVEST, confirming our strategic ambition with INFRAGREEN IV to support our partners through equity financing, as well as expand our investments in partially merchant energy projects that optimize the profitability of renewable assets,” added Nicolas Rochon, CEO of RGREEN INVEST. “This promising incursion in Bulgaria is paving the way for future ones in the region. The trust and resiliency underpinning our relationship with Akuo, our historical partner, are driving its success every step of the way.”