The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has arranged a syndicated loan to its client Wissol Petroleum Georgia (Wissol) to support the development of natural gas filling stations in Georgia. The credit consists of an “A” loan of up to US$ 40 million for the EBRD’s own account, and a “B” loan of up to US$ 25 million, to be syndicated to the Dutch development bank FMO. This is the first corporate sector syndication in Georgia with a local private partner and an international bank.
During the signing of the agreement in Tbilisi, Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, stated: “We are excited to support this new project and our longstanding partner Wissol in the evolution of the modern fuel retail market. This project will ensure that Georgian customers continue to receive more economical and environmentally-friendly alternatives to petrol.”
Wissol aims to open up to 38 new fueling stations that will use advanced equipment. The program will also improve the infrastructure of the company’s existing stations, providing CNG along with other fuels and using modern energy efficiency technologies, thus helping the Wissol stations to meet higher environmental standards. “This will enable us to generate more jobs, to bring cleaner and safer fuel to the public and to improve energy efficiency in our everyday operations,” said Samson Pkhakadze, Wissol Group President.
This initiative is in line with the EBRD’s strategy to finance the development and expansion of high-quality, independent fuel retailers while increasing competition in the sector. It is also consistent with the Bank’s promotion of the local private sector and the adoption of best environmental practices.