Sofia, Bulgaria, March 30, 2011
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, UniCredit Bank Austria and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, OPIC, are supporting Bulgaria’s strategy to increase its renewable energy production by lending around €155 million to SunEdison to finance construction of the 60.4 MWp Karadzhalovo solar power plant.
IFC, OPIC and UniCredit jointly arranged financing of this project. IFC provided €46.1 million and mobilized an additional €41.1 million from UniCredit through a syndication loan, while OPIC provided a $50 million parallel loan. UniCredit Bulbank acted as the Bulgarian local bank and provided a local currency VAT facility worth around €30 million (58.7 million Bulgarian lev). The value of the transaction totals the equivalent of €155 million. The U.S.-based SunEdison is a leading global solar power system developer.
The Karadzhalovo plant is located in southern Bulgaria, close to the city of Plovdiv in the municipality of Parvomay, 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.
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 CEO, 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.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit