The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided loans totalling €60mn to two Eastern European metals firms.

An EBRD spokesperson tells GTR that the bank is providing €20mn out of the €60mn Croatian Sisak Ironworks, a subsidiary of Italian steel firm Danieli Group, is seeking. The loan will support restarting the production at the steel factory in central Croatia. Existing production facilities will be refurbished and new equipment will be implemented to develop the Sisak plant into a steel-making facility with a capacity of up to 400,000 tonnes of steel per year.

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD’s director for Croatia and Hungary says: “This investment provides a stimulus to high-value steel production in Croatia. The EBRD is strongly behind efforts to strengthen the industrial basis of Croatia through the promotion of competitive and efficient companies and the mobilisation of its strong engineering tradition. We are especially pleased that the investment programme in Sisak will result in significant environmental, energy and resource efficiencies.”

The bank is also providing a €40mn debt facility to Bulgarian metal-processing firm Sofia Med, which is a part of the Greek Viohalco Group. Sofia Med will use €30mn for long-term working capital to finance the firm’s future projects. The remaining €10mn will be used to finance energy efficiency measures and to increase capacity for higher value-added goods.

Daniel Berg, director for EBRD operations in Bulgaria, says: “This financing package will support Sofia Med’s development plan and enable it to thrive beyond the current market liquidity squeeze. It will also help Sofia Med to carry out significant investments in new products with value-added and in energy efficiency and to improve its corporate governance standards.”

EBRD was unable to disclose any further terms of the loans when contacted by GTR.