IFC and EBRD to support Bulgaria’s fuel diversification plans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be providing €20m loan to Bulmarket DM to strengthen its energy and fuel supply network.

EBRD and IFC have contributed €10m each for the Bulgarian fuel supplier, which is expected to support the firm's expansion plans for its present network of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminals.

Bulmarket also intends to develop a new terminal with the funding for storage and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"We will also increase the distribution of LPG in Bulgaria and the Balkans."

EBRD Bulgaria director Daniel Berg said: "Unlike natural gas delivered via pipelines, the introduction of LNG on the market offers flexibility, as it can be transported from and to anywhere.

"Opening a window to this alternative fuel - especially one that is cleaner than what is currently used by companies not connected to the natural gas grid - helps diversify energy sources available to Bulgarian companies."

EBRD Natural Resources director Eric Rasmussen said: "This project will support the growth of an innovative local company committed to transparency and best environmental and safety standards."

IFC's financing for Bulmarket is in line with its strategy to focus on transportation fuel alternatives.

Besides funding, the firm will receive advice from IFC, which is aimed at its business growth, improved efficiency and introduction of new solutions to satiate fuel demands in the country.

IFC Bulgaria country officer Vladimir Mihailovski said: "Through this project, Bulmarket will successfully contribute to energy diversification in Bulgaria by introducing LNG into the market.

"In addition, their clients that are not connected to the national gas distribution grid, mainly small and medium-sized companies, will have the opportunity to use cleaner and more efficient source of energy."

Bulmarket DM owner Stanko Stankov said: "Thanks to this expansion, we will start supplying LNG to industrial companies in Bulgaria, many of which are remote and do not have access to traditional gas distribution and competitive energy sources.

"We will also increase the distribution of LPG in Bulgaria and the Balkans."

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