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EBRD, EIB and IFC start appraisal of Nabucco pipeline


IFC Contact: Josef Skoldeberg
Tel.: +1 202 473 6978
Email: jskoldeberg@ifc.org


Important step towards meeting Europe’s energy security demands


Brussels, 6 September 2010. A mandate letter has been signed today by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), IFC - a member of the World Bank Group -, the shareholders of Nabucco and NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International GmbH. The signing of the mandate letter by the three International Financial Institutions (IFIs) marks the start of the appraisal process of the Nabucco project, a required step towards a potential financing package of up to EUR 4 billion. The Nabucco gas pipeline project is the flagship project for meeting future EU gas demand and will diversify Europe’s pool of supplier countries.

The potential financing package will consist of up to EUR 2 billion from the EIB, up to EUR 1.2 billion from the EBRD (up to EUR 600 million for EBRD’s account and up to EUR 600 million to be syndicated to commercial banks) and up to around EUR 800 million from IFC (up to EUR 400 million for IFC’s account and up to EUR 400 million to be syndicated to commercial banks).

The mandate letter formalises the conditions under which the three IFIs will conduct their appraisal of the Nabucco project, and provides an indication of the potential level of financing. It sets out the work that will be required before a final financing decision can be taken.  

The involvement of the three IFIs is a demonstration of global and European support for the project and represents an important milestone in ensuring the overall financing of Nabucco. The early involvement of the IFIs will support Nabucco in meeting the highest standards in environmental and social risk evaluation and procurement. The appraisal of the project will include a thorough assessment of commercial, social and environmental aspects.

The Nabucco gas pipeline project addresses the EU’s priority goal of achieving energy security via the diversification of gas routes and gas supplies.  It will deliver additional volumes of gas from different sources through a new supply route to the EU member states and their neighbours.  Nabucco provides a strategic solution by enabling the transport of gas from both the Caspian Region and the Middle East.

Following the successful conclusion of the appraisal, the financing will need to be approved by the relevant governing bodies of each IFI. Export credit agencies and international banks are expected to commence their appraisal of the Nabucco project soon after the IFIs. Commitments from potential lenders are expected to be sought in 2011.

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IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is a global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. IFC creates opportunities for people to escape poverty and improve their lives by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilising capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. IFC’s new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC) was set up on 24 June 2004 to develop, construct and operate the Nabucco pipeline. Headquartered in Vienna, it is defined as an unbundled midstream-company under EU law. NIC is owned by the Nabucco shareholders and is responsible for the development, construction, operation and capacity trading and allocation for the Nabucco pipeline. NIC will be the only company in direct contact with the shippers and will offer a one-stop-shop solution, operating as an independent economic entity in the market, and acting independently from its parent companies. The pipeline system will be constructed by the National Nabucco Companies (NNCs), which are subsidiaries of NIC in each of the transit countries.