Eesti Energia takes out €600 million loan

Eesti Energia
Eesti Energia Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

State-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia has signed a €600-million loan agreement, which will be used primarily to refinance a bond the company holds, as well as to make investments into the grid and carbon-neutral activities.

The syndicated loan agreement was inked on Tuesday. Commenting on the development, outgoing Eesti Energia Ceo Hando Sutter said: "Proceeds from financing, in addition to refinancing, the bond, will be invested in Eesti Energia's solutions, allowing customers to manage their energy use more intelligently and reduce their environmental footprint.

Investments will also be channeled into the carbon-free chemical industry, but without job losses, Sutter added.. "The more valuable use of oil shale then will have no connection with energy, while in Ida-Viru County, jobs which create high added value for Estonia will remain," Sutter continued, via a company press release.

This would be achieved by co-pyrolyzing (Co-pyrolysis is a process which involves two or more materials as feedstock-ed.) oil shale with waste such as non-recyclable plastics and used tires, Eesti Energia says, which, following post-processing, can be reused to make everyday items.

The group says it is also increasing its investments in the electricity grid, to enable more micro- and small-producers of renewable electricity to connect, and sell their surplus.

Eesti Energia has not disclosed the interest rate applied to the €600-million loan.

Sutter said the deal was signed by 10 financial institutions shows that despite the energy crisis and was structured as a sustainability linked loan, which gave it an "aligned-good" rating from U.S. consultancy firm ISS Corporate Solutions.

 The group's electricity production will be carbon-free by 2035, the company says, while a carbon-neutral chemicals sector, based on a circular economy, will be online in Ida-Viru County from 2040, while Eesti Energia's entire output will be carbon-free by 2045.

Enefit Green, Eesti Energia's renewables subsidiary, is aiming for a four-fold increase in output, to 4.5 TWh of renewable electricity by 2026.

The loan will refinance a €500-million London Stock Exchange bond, which is due to expire in September this year.

The loan is for five years, on a part-repayment schedule, and was coordinated and managed by Deutsche Bank, while other companies involved in setting up the loan include law firms Ellex Raidla, Clifford Chance, Sorainen, Dentons and accountancy firm TMF Group.

Eesti Energia's main markets are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland, and operates under the Enefit brand outside of Estonia.

Hando Sutter's term ends on March 31, when he will be replaced by Andrus Durejko as Eesti Energia CEO.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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