Банкеръ Weekly



The six important energy projects whose implementation began in Bulgaria in the 2001-2004 period are worth a total of BGN3.712BN, a report of the Energy Ministry show. The largest share - BGN1.173BN - is that of the project for modernization and rehabilitation of the Maritsa Iztok 3 thermoelectric power station. Majority participation in it is that of the Italian company Enel and the US Entergy. The second biggest investment - BGN960MN - is that in the two 1,000-megawatt units of the Kozlodoui N-plant, whose modernization should be completed in mid-2006 (the entire amount is to be utilized till then). BGN600MN will be spent for sulphur purifying installations at Maritsa Iztok 2 and BGN250MN will be invested in the central heating utilities of Sofia and Pernik. The sixth big energy project - Energy 2 - for rehabilitation and modernization of the electricity transiting network, is worth a total of BGN299MN.With the exception of the Maritsa Iztok 3 project, the other almost BGN2BN credits are guaranteed by the State. The NEC will guarantee the other loans, although the funds are for various utilities in Bulgaria's energy system, used by the respective company. The NEC, together with Kozlodoui N-plant, is a party in the three credit agreements worth a total of EUR491MN, for moderinization of the station's units 5 and 6 (EUR212.5MN from EBRD/Euroatom, USD77MN from Citibank, and another USD80MN from ROSEXIMBANK). NEC will also guarantee the loans for the two projects on the rehabilitation of Maritsa Iztok 2, worth a total of EUR306.5MN, whose implementation started in 2004. The bulk of the amount - about EUR226.2MN - is earmarked for the first four units of the station. EUR191MN of the sum was allocated by the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the balance of EUR35MN was released as a loan by BULBANK. In addition to the above-mentioned amounts, the NEC is also a guarantor of the EUR34MN syndicated loan from the EBRD, intended for the construction of sulphur purification installations at units 5 and 6 of the plant. An interesting project from a financial point of view is that for the construction of the Tsankov Kamak water-power system, worth EUR220MN. It is being implemented under a joint fulfilment mechanism through an agreement with Austria's Government. The funds are ensured by six banks - the US Credit Swisse First Boston, the French Societe Generale, Belgium's Fortis Bank, and Austria's Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterrech AG, Bank Austria Creditenstalt and Oesterreichische Kontrolbank Aktiengellschaft. Financing has been released against a mortgage and a pledge (the equipment and the materials for the construction of the dam and the new station). The NEC is again a party of the financial agreements. Two more credits, guaranteed by the NEC should be added: EUR3,176,000 for rehabilitation of the Teshel hydroelectric power plant, and EUR20MN for the Orfei and Krichim stations, extended by SG EXPRESSBANK. The Energy 2 project for rehabilitation and modernization of the electricity transiting network, worth a total of BGN153MN, is not an exception. EUR101.1MN of that amount are state-guaranteed loans, a party in which is the NEC (EUR60MN by the European Investment Bank and EUR41.1MN by the EBRD). The balance of EUR52MN are own funds of the company. The NEC borrowed EUR15.5MN from the EBRD for setting up the Bulgaria-Macedonia electric transmission network (another EUR 4.5MN will be set aside from the company's budget). The last EUR25MN, for which the NEC has signed a guarantee, is earmarked modernization and rehabilitation of the Rousse thermoelectric power station. Thus, the NEC has so far guaranteed loans exceeding EUR1.18BN. Guarantees for another EUR87MN - for the construction of the Yadenitsa dam - will certainly be added soon. Thus, the credits guaranteed by the NEC will reach EUR1.27BN.

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