In the very last days of 2020, our colleagues from Ilej & Partners in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners closed the largest cross border investment into the Croatian biomass sector until today. The client, Pearl Infrastructure Capital, a French investment fund specialized in investments into the renewable energy sector, acquired Energy 9, a Croatian group of companies owning a biomass cogeneration plant and wood drying facility in Slatina, Croatia. The seller is the Slovenian energy company Resalta, one of the largest energy companies in the region.
The cogeneration plant has an electric capacity of 5 MW and a thermal capacity of up to 12MW. There are only three other facilities in Croatia with a matching electric capacity of 5 MW and only one with a higher capacity. Annually, the plant can produce approx. 40,000 MWh of electricity, which is sufficient to cover the needs of the neighboring city of Slatina with a population of more than 13,000.
The cogeneration plant is a user of the feed-in tariff model (abolished in 2016) and has a 14-year power purchase agreement entered into with the Croatian Energy Market Operator. Commercial production started in 2019.
Along with the cogeneration plant, the company also possesses wood drying facilities which serve the local wood processing and food industry and contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the facility, as well as local production.
Having in mind the latest developments in the Croatian and EU renewable energy sector and investment strategies, this acquisition may very well be the client’s first step into the Croatian market.