Akuo announced that it had successfully secured a portfolio of five operational hydropower plants with a capacity of 15.5 MW in Bulgaria, the French-based independent world power generating and developer announced on 2 March.
According to Akuo, the agreement follows Bulgaria’s acquisition of PVB Power Bulgaria in March 2021, which operates the five assets, which have been in operation since 2010-2013 and is located on the banks of the Iscar River near Svoghe. EFL Energy has made it possible to acquire bridge funds from the Transition Fund while refinancing banking by EBRD and UniCredit Bulbank. Akuo is partnering with RGREEN INVEST through its INFRAGREEN IV fund, which has thus become a joint shareholder of 49% of these assets alongside Akuo.
These refinancing activities by EBRD and Unicredit Bullbank enable AQU to free up financial resources that will be used to develop other greenfield renewable projects in EBRD’s operating countries.
Bulgaria aims to increase its share of renewable energy in its electricity mix to over 30% by 2030. The target includes an increase of 2.6 gigawatts to bring the country’s renewable electricity capacity to about 7 gigawatts by then. The Svoghe portfolio will significantly strengthen the national effort to meet this objective: Covering the electricity costs of more than 20,000 Bulgarian households, it represents the equivalent of 35,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
“More than ever today, the involvement of EBRD and UniCredit in this renewable energy project sends a strong signal to Bulgaria’s energy independence,” said Acuo Chairman Eric Scotto.
Unicred Bullbank and EBRD said in a joint statement that they would help Acuo expand its operations in Bulgaria and add more renewable production capacity to the region in parallel. “This collaboration between EBRD and Unicredit Bullbank demonstrates the importance that both organizations place in promoting cleaner technology and renewable resources,” they say.
Nicholas Rochan, CEO of RGREEN Invest, said the operation laid a new foundation for his company, confirming their strategic ambitions with INFRAGREEN IV to support their partners through equity financing, as well as partially expanding our investment in commercial energy projects to renew renewables. By “This promised intrusion into Bulgaria is paving the way for a future in the region. The trust and resilience that rely on our relationship with our historical partner Aqua is driving its success at every step, ”he said.