EBRD Supports Growth Of SIAD Group In Serbia
By Axel Reiserer
The EBRD is extending a €7 million(US$7.60million) loan to Istrabenz Plini Beograd to support the development of the chemical company in Serbia.
Istrabenz will use the funds to construct a filling station in Simanovci, 35km north-west of Belgrade, which will allow the company to fill gas cylinders with industrial gases instead of purchasing filled industrial gas cylinders from its parent company in Slovenia.
The investment will allow the company to meet the higher demand of its industrial and retail customers in Serbia and potentially neighbouring countries. It will also help improve efficiency and reduce costs by replacing the transportation of heavy, filled cylinders over long distances by the transportation of lighter gases in bulk.
The company’s parent operates industrial and natural gas supply and energy services to companies and households in Slovenia and through its subsidiaries in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Istrabenz is ultimately owned by SIAD SpA, a leading Italian and European industrial gas producer with operations in the Western Balkans and in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The company opened a new air separation plant in Gyöngyös, Hungary in 2019, and is considering other investments in the region including an industrial gas separation plant in Croatia and a further presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
EBRD Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe, Charlotte Ruhe said: “We are delighted to support the expansion of SIAD Group in the Serbian market and look forward to continue to support its growth in eastern European markets.”
CEO of SIAD SpA, Bernardo Sestini said: “We are grateful to the EBRD for its financial support to our initiative; support that makes our investments safer and our industrial development strategies more sustainable”.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5.7 billion across 263 projects in the country. The EBRD is supporting private-sector development and the transition towards a green economy, as well as investing in infrastructure to improve private sector competitiveness and boost connectivity in the Western Balkans region. Last year, the Bank achieved a record result in Serbia with €507 million new commitments.