Representatives of Vetroelektrane Balkana, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a EUR 215 million credit line for the construction of a wind farm in Cibuk, worth EUR 300 million, on Monday, October 16.
As state in a press release by the EBRD, the Cibuk 1 wind farm is being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana, owned by Tesla Wind which is a joint venture between Masdar, a renewable-energy company based in Abu Dhabi, and Cibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of the US-based wind-energy developer Continental Wind Partners.
Cibuk 1 will be built 50 km to the north-east of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. It will comprise 57 wind turbines supplied by General Electric and will cover an area of about 40 km2.
– The 158-MW wind farm, which will consist of 57 turbines and produce up to 457 GWh of electric energy a year and which should be completed by the end of 2018, will be the biggest commercial project in the field of wind energy in Serbia and the Western Balkans region – it was reported by the cabinet of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who attended the signing.
The press release says that the plant is expected to to produce electricity from renewable sources for an estimated 113,000 households, while reducing CO2 emissions by more than 370,000 tons.
The construction of the wind farm will also create 400 jobs in the area and contribute to improvements in local infrastructure with, for example, the construction of 50 km of roads.
Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Aleksandar Antic said that it was the biggest project of its kind in Southeast Europe and the biggest individual private investment in the Republic of Serbia.
– This is a big project for Banat and Serbia, a 158-MW wind farm, which amounts to around 32% of our total wind energy projects – Antic said and added that Serbia had thereby gained a project guaranteeing that the state will achieve the goal of increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 27% of the total consumption by 2020.
As the EBRD says in the press release, Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said that they were proud to be able to contribute their expertise and experience to the diversification of Serbia’s energy mix, working alongside their joint-venture partners.
– This project highlights the attractiveness of the Serbian market for renewable energy investment and has the potential to be a hub for additional projects in the region – Al Ramahi said and added that Cibuk would be Masdar`s fourth wind farm in Europe.