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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is participating in Slovenian Steel Group’s (SIJ Group) €230 million long term debt facility, with €25 million to support the specialised steel company’s efforts to further reduce its environmental impact.

One of the core objectives of the EBRD is the transition towards a low-carbon economy in hard-to-abate industries, among which the steel and iron sectors rank first when it comes to CO2 emissions and second when it comes energy consumption. SIJ Group already has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the steel industry globally, manufactures its products from 100% recyclable steel scrap and is aligned with the EU Taxonomy.

The EBRD has an ongoing collaboration with SIJ tracing from the participation in the company’s inaugural local capital market issuance in 2015 and via a €40 million participation in a 2017 debt facility, contributing towards SIJ’s energy efficiency, investment and refinancing programme.

The proceeds from the EBRD’s participation will finance energy efficiency improvement capex at SIJ’s production sites in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem, contributing to the company’s decarbonisation efforts and meeting the criteria for “substantial contribution” towards climate change mitigation under the EU Taxonomy. Finally, EBRD’s participation will help SIJ improve its climate-related financial disclosures.

“We are pleased to extend our collaboration with SIJ, one of the most efficient steel producers globally, and finance their ongoing efforts towards reducing further the environmental footprint of their operations and improving their climate-related disclosures.” said Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Global Head of Manufacturing and Services.

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Igor Malevanov, CFO of SIJ Group: “We would like to thank EBRD for remaining true to its mission: reconstruction and development. Aside from its direct contribution in financing our climate related energy efficiency capex, the participation of EBRD in our new debt facility encouraged the other lenders to increase their commitments. This ultimately allows SIJ Group to implement its long term development objectives. We also appreciate EBRD’s support in the improvement of our ESG related reporting.”   

SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated steel producer in Slovenia and a leading Slovenian exporter with a strong presence in the international markets in 68 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

To date, the EBRD has invested nearly €1.3 billion in 98 projects in Slovenia.

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