EBRD green finance supports Kosovo’s bottled water producer Uje Rugove

Date:

  • €6 million sustainability-linked loan to Uje Rugove, Kosovo’s leading producer of bottled water
  • Environmental targets introduced as part of the loan structure
  • Proceedings to help the company expand and modernise production and product range

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Enterprise Expansion Fund II Western Balkans (ENEF II) are providing a sustainability-linked loan of €6 million to Uje Rugove, Kosovo’s leading producer of bottled water, to help the company improve its competitiveness and expand operations.

Uje Rugove will use the proceeds of the loan to purchase a new facility and install high-capacity production lines as part of its plan to introduce new product categories in sustainable packaging. This work will allow the company to expand its product range and become more competitive in the Kosovan and export markets.

This project is the first example in Kosovo of a green financing instrument, which integrates climate and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and risk considerations into the financing structure.

The loan has three environmental targets: to cut water losses during production, to reduce packaging waste during production, and to introduce into its packaging stretch film and labels that are made of at least 50 per cent recycled polyethylene.

Uje Rugove is also committed to implementing higher environmental, health and safety standards.

The EBRD’s Head of Kosovo Sergiy Maslichenko said: “We are pleased to support the agribusiness sector in Kosovo by signing an innovative ESG-linked financing agreement for this project with a market leader.”

Visar Kelmendi, Chair of the Board of Directors of Uje Rugove, added: “This sustainability-linked loan marks not only a pivotal moment for Uje Rugove, but also for Kosovo as a whole. It showcases our unwavering dedication to reducing water consumption in our production, minimising packaging waste and incorporating sustainable and recycled materials into our packaging. This not only aligns with our strong commitment to the environment and to health and safety excellence, but also sets a standard for sustainability in our industry, demonstrating that economic growth and environmental responsibility can go hand in hand.”

ENEF II is part of the Western Balkans Investment Framework, supported by the European Union and bilateral donors. It extends development and expansion capital to high-growth companies committed to improving their ESG performance in the six Western Balkans economies.

ENEF II is a new investment fund, established with European Union (EU) support. It is advised and managed by the EBRD. Dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps in the Western Balkans, ENEF II has raised €57 million in capital commitments from its investors, which include the EU, Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti development bank and Germany’s KfW development bank. The EBRD has committed €19 million to the fund, while KfW and the EU provide first-loss risk cover.

Kosovo’s agribusiness sector has great potential for growth, with sub-sectors such as the beverage industry and champions such as Uje Rugove offering competitive quality products at a regional level.

To date the EBRD has invested €629 million in Kosovo.

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