Bucharest, 15 September 2015 – Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) financed an investment by First Biogaz SRL, a member of Austria-based BIOGEST, in the building of a biogas plant in the Ardud locality, Satu Mare County.

“The biogas station – an investment worth approximately EUR 5.3 million – has an installed capacity of 1.5 MW, the generated electricity being enough to cover the needs of 4,500 households. From its position as a leader of the Romanian banking system, BCR confirmed the strategy of sustaining development of the local economy, including in the renewable energy sector, the more as investments in biogas and biomass are in line with the new development trends in the energy industry, as established by the relevant authorities,” explained Ioana Gheorghiade, Executive Manager with the Public Sector and Infrastructure Financing Division of the BCR.

As a renewable source of energy, biogas offers technological, ecological and economic advantages: energy can be generated 365 a year, at any moment, day or night, being an ideal source when it comes to covering energy demand in such peak times. It is because of this availability that biogas plays an important role in the mix of renewable energy from water, sun and wind. Moreover, it helps with the achievement of the environment protection objectives and helps reduce dependency on energy imports.

BIOGEST is an international biogas plant manufacture headquartered in Austria, with branches in the UK, Italy, Romania, Serbia and the Czech Republic. Its main activity varies from project development, planning, financing, turnkey constructions and exploitation of plants with an installed capacity between 100 kW and 3,500 kW. So far, the company completed more than 120 biogas plants European-wide.

Built using the Biogest PowerRing technology, tested and confirmed in numerous occasions, this biogas plant features the benefits of energy efficiency and reliability, while also saving space with its modular design. For the first time, the Ardud-based plant will not only use energy crops, but also agricultural by-products such as maize straw on a large scale. R&D activities focus on exploring the potential for using alternative raw materials with the aim of reducing substrate costs and creating the perfect symbiosis between food production and power generation. Using perennial wild plants as a substrate will also be tested in Ardud, turning the site into a pilot plant for the whole region.

Given the general economic situation and considerable agricultural resources available, Romania is a worthwhile location for investments in renewable energy from biogas. This first Biogest biogas plant in Romania is therefore not only an attractive investment for us, but also sends a positive signal for a number of our customers’ projects.

Biogest is a European-wide biogas plant manufacturer and operator headquartered in Austria, with branches in the UK, Italy, Romania, Serbia and the Czech Republic. More than 120 biogas plant projects generating electricity or biomethane have been completed to date. Our reference plants are located in several European countries and the global market is served by licensed partners.

Banca Comercială Română (BCR), a member of Erste Group, is the most important financial group in Romania, providing universal banking operations (retail, corporate & investment banking, treasury and capital markets), and covering specialty companies working on the leasing market, private pensions and housing banks. BCR is Romania’s No. 1 bank in terms of asset value (over €14,4 bn.), in terms of client base and in terms of savings and crediting. BCR is also Romania’s most important financial brand, judging by the client trust rate and by the number of persons who consider that BCR is their main banking partner.

BCR uses a network of 22 corporate business centres and 23 mobile offices devoted to corporate clients, and 509 retails units located in most communities inhabited by at least 10,000 citizens in order to provide a full range of financial products and services. BCR is Romania’s No. 1 bank running on the banking transactions market, since BCR customers have the largest ATM network at their disposal – nearly 2,000 ATMs and 13,500 POS terminals enabling customers to use their cards for shopping purposes, as well as the complete Internet banking, mobile banking, phone-banking and e-commerce services.

Erste Group is one of the main suppliers of financial services in Eastern European Union. About 46,500 bank officers working in 2,800 branches in seven countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia) assist 16.2 mn. customers. Erste Group reported a total asset pool worth €202,6 bn. and a 56.1% cost-to-income ratio at the end of Q1 of 2015. First-ranking common equity index (Basel 3 implemented partially) has improved to 10.2%.

BCR – External Communication 

Cezar Marin, e-mail: cezar.marin@bcr.ro

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