The Cibuk 1 wind farm is being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana and is owned by Telsa Wind, a joint venture of Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and Continental Wind Partners’ subsidiary Cibuk Wind Holding.

The wind farm will be built 50km to the north-east of the Serbian capital, Belgrade and will include 57 turbines to be supplied by GE. The wind farm will be spread across in an area nearly 40 km2.

It is expected to come online in the first half of 2019 and could generate enough clean electricity to be supplied to 113,000 homes. It will offset more than 370,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, had the energy been produced from a coal-fired power plant.

During the construction phase, the wind farm could generate 400 jobs locally and can contribute to improvements in the local infrastructure by way of 50km of road construction.

Tesla Wind chairman Yousif Al Ai said: “We would like to thank the government of Serbia, Mubadala Investment Company, as well as the lenders, advisors, and all the other parties involved in reaching this critical milestone.

“The development of the largest wind farm in the Western Balkans is a pivotal moment for the expansion of renewables in the region and positions Serbia at the forefront of Europe’s fastest-growing alternative energy sector.”

For the wind farm, EBRD will contribute €107.7m of syndicated loan, out of which €55m is syndicated to Erste Bank, the Green for Growth Fund, UniCredit and Banca Intesa under an A/B loan structure.

EBRD power and energy utilities director Harry Boyd-Carpenter said: “The Cibuk wind farm is a breakthrough for Serbia as the country works to meet its commitment to produce 27 per cent of domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020.

“The EBRD has worked closely with the government to develop and refine the regulatory framework for the sector and these efforts have now unlocked job-generating foreign investment and the first wave of renewable-energy projects.”

Similarly, IFC will be providing €107.7m which will include €52.7m senior loan, a €36.7m loan provided through its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and a €18.3m B loan under IFC’s syndication umbrella.  

Image: EBRD and IFC to provide €215m loan for Serbian wind farm. Photo: Courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.