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EBRD mulls $40m loan for Ukraine’s Nibulon

The development bank is considering a cash infusion to finance an infrastructure upgrade at the country’s largest grain trader, a project estimated to cost $140m.

Just two weeks after greenlighting a $20 million senior loan for Ukrainian logistics group GNT, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering fresh support for the country’s grain sector through a $40 million loan for Nibulon, an integrated grain and oilseeds producer.

The funds would go towards modernizing Nibulon’s infrastructure via the construction of river terminals and a trans-shipment crane barge, according to a project summary document the development bank released yesterday. The cash would also support the company’s expansion of its river fleet and help finance an upgrade of the Mykolaiv terminal. The scheme is forecast to cost about $140 million.

In addition to helping Nibulon improve its logistics infrastructure and boost its export capacity – the company operates one of the largest logistics networks of grain storage and transportation in Ukraine – the bank said the scheme would help promote “low-carbon transportation modes”, thus facilitating the transition towards a “green economy.”

The bank has a longstanding relationship with Nibulon, including a $130 million debt facility it established with the company in August 2014 and an additional $25 million loan the bank approved three months later.

Environmental and social due diligence has been completed, confirming that “the company has adequate corporate systems in place to manage their environmental, health and safety issues,” according to the EBRD document.

The International Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank have also approved co-financing for the Nibulon project, committing loans of $60 million and €71 million, respectively.