On Monday (12 June), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a four million loan agreement with Voli, the largest food retail chain in Montenegro.
The agreement, signed in Podgorica, Montenegro will provide the company with funds to purchase and install solar panels with up to 4 MW capacity and charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) at its facilities and logistics centre.
“The green economy and energy security are our top priorities across the region and in Montenegro. Our long-standing client, Voli, has made yet another great decision to supply their modern retail facilities with their own solar energy, helping decarbonise their operations while securing their energy supply for decades to come,” said Remon Zakaria, Head of Montenegro at the EBRD.
The project’s feasibility study received support from DRIVE, an Austrian donor fund. The planned enhancements will safeguard Voli from potential energy price fluctuations, the EBRD said. The inclusion of electric vehicle charging stations on-site will further enhance the appeal of the chain to shoppers, including tourists, the Bank said.
The project will also lead to substantial reductions in carbon emissions, the EBRD noted. “I’m pleased to see the EBRD continuing to work with its long-standing partner Voli through this green investment. The project will support the company’s energy efficiency in the current turbulent energy market. At the same time, it will help reduce its carbon footprint and improve its overall competitiveness,” said Miljan Ždrale, Regional Head of Agribusiness at the EBRD.
Voli is Montenegro’s largest employer, with approximately 2,400 employees. The company was founded in 1995 and started working with the EBRD in 2009. Since 2015, the Bank has been a minority equity investor in the company.
“Voli plans to develop more and more projects aimed at energy efficiency in the coming years. As a major consumer of electricity, our investment in the construction of solar panels will contribute to reducing pollution and protecting the environment by cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Our responsibility towards the community around us means that we must pay attention to issues of general interest and consider the future of our community and our children. For this reason, we support innovative solutions, with the aim of making the world around us a healthier place to live,” said Dragan Bokan, President of Voli.