EBRD loans 6.7 mln USD to Macedonia for solar park construction

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SKOPJE, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) signed here on Friday a 5.9-million-euro (6.73 million U.S. dollars) loan agreement to finance the construction of a new solar power plant, which will increase the supply of clean energy in Macedonia.

According to EBRD's Macedonia office, the new solar project will diversify ELEM's production mix and increase the share of renewable energy.

The loan agreement was signed by Harry Boyd-Carpenter, head of EBRD's power and energy utilities, and ELEM Chief Executive Officer Dragan Minovski.

ELEM, Macedonia's state-owned electricity company, will use the loan to build the first large-scale solar power plant on the site of an exhausted lignite coal mine. The total cost of the project is estimated at 8.7 million euros (9.92 million U.S. dollars), and the difference will be covered by ELEM.

Once put in use, the new solar plant will produce nearly 15 GWh of electricity per annum, save 12,177 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, and will also support the rehabilitation of the 26-hectare former coal mining site.

Macedonia aims to generate 23 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

According to EBRD data, to date the bank has invested more than 1.8 billion euros (2 billion U.S. dollars) in 113 projects in Macedonia. Enditem

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