The year that is now close to ending has been record-setting for the activity of EBRD in Romania, said Pendred, who underscored that the international institution has made efforts to support the Romanian economy in the difficult economic environment determined by the crisis, participating also alongside the IMF and the EU in the support package secured by the country.
In the given context, EBRD raised the amount of investments for 2009 and 2010 to 1 bln euros. Pendred mentioned that at the end of 2009, EBRD total investments in Romania stand at 4.4 bln euros. The bank closed this year over 20 contracts in Romania and 85 pct of the financing was for private sector projects.
Among the energy and infrastructure projects that received EBRD financing in 2009, the institution’s official mentioned the two loans to Petrom (a EUR 200 million loan for a new state-of- the-art 860MW combined cycle gas fired power plant and a EUR 150 million loan to support environment and energy efficiency investments) and
a EUR 80 million loan to the Turceni energy complex (country south) million) for the modernization of one of the lignite fired power plant’s units to meet EU standards.
‘The Turceni deal has been nominated as Deal of the Year by the publication Energy Risk,’ Claudia Pendred said. Other points of interest in Romania in 2009 were municipal services and SMEs,; given their ‘particular vulnerability to the economic downturn,’ EBRD provided some of the banks with SME loans for smaller companies to continue to receive financing.
To support companies in Romania in a year in which access to financing was scarce, EBRD provided working capital to clients with revenues in RON, including Lafarge Ciment Romania. EBRD also provided capital to companies to enable them to fulfill their investment plans (including EUR 44 million to Renault to invest in the Titu car test centre, the largest in the region, and EUR 40 million to Kaufland to expand its supermarket network).
‘This year we made our first equity investment in a private Romanian company, Pehart Tec (a tissue paper producer), via a EUR 6 million capital increase and we plan to pursue further equity investments in local corporates during 2010,’ added the EBRD director for Romania.