SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

EBRD US$130Million Syndicated Loan For Sodrugestvo Group

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By Anton Usov

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is arranging a US$130 million loan to Sodrugestvo Group (SG), an international agro-industrial conglomerate incorporated in Luxemburg and active throughout the EBRD regions, to boost cross-border cooperation and benefit local farmers, sourcing, transportation, processing and distribution of animal feed products. Support for existing clients is part of the EBRD’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The EBRD financing will consist of an A-loan of up to US$85million for the Bank’s own account and a B-loan of up to US$45million, which may be syndicated to commercial banks.

Up to US$25million will be channelled to Sodrugestvo Trans-Agro, the largest private owner of grain-hopper railcars in Belarus for the acquisition of 216 hoppers. The new hoppers will decrease SG’s reliance on cargo services provided by state-owned railway companies and strengthen its market position.

Up to US$55million will be provided to Belagroterminal, the operator of a multi seeds crushing plant, for balance sheet restructuring and for the construction of a biomass boiler house at its principal manufacturing site in Smorgon, north-western Belarus.

The biomass boiler house will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 41,000 tonnes.

The remaining US$50million will be provided to support working capital needs of Belagroterminal.

In the context of its development programme, supported by the EBRD, SG will aim to establish closer ties with rapeseed and soybean farmers in Belarus  and neighbouring region. Guaranteed off-take arrangements will stimulate primary agriculture and will promote cross-border trade.

The EBRD expects the entirety of its investments of up to €21billion in 2020-21 to be dedicated to the response to and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded in 1994, Sodrugestvo Group owns and operates the largest soybean processing complex in Europe and ranks among the top 20 soybean processors in the world. Headquartered in Luxembourg, the company owns and operates production and port assets in Belarus, Brazil, Paraguay, Russia, and Turkey exporting manufactured and traded products to over 60 countries.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €2.9 billion in 134 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.

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