Marguerite acquires 20% stake in Serbian company BCE

Independent fund management firm Marguerite has acquired 20% stake in Beo Čista Energija (BCE), a consortium of Suez and Itochu for the development of a 25-year waste management and energy recovery project in Belgrade, Serbia, under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

BCE was established by the consortium of Suez and Itochu in last September, after securing project development tender organized by the City of Belgrade with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The project is estimated to cost about €350m and will be financed by a mix of debt and equity. Construction on the project is expected to begin next year.

The project includes the design, construction, financing and operation of a green-field energy-from-waste (EfW) facility, a recycling facility for construction and demolition waste (CDW), remediating an existing dumpsite of Vinča and developing a new sanitary landfill for residual waste.

The EfW will generate 30MW of renewable electricity and 56MW of heat to be distributed to the households of Belgrade.

Marguerite Partner William Pierson said: “The project is Marguerite’s first investment in an EU accession country and we are very pleased to become a shareholder in this landmark transaction that will address an acute environmental problem in the vicinity of the City of Belgrade.

“We expect that it will substantially improve both waste treatment practices in the country’s capital city and the living conditions of its inhabitants as well as reduce the existing landfill’s environmental footprint.

“We are also delighted to expand our partnership with Suez with this new project and to develop a new relationship with such an experienced partner as Itochu.”

Located in Vinča in the vicinity of Belgrade, the new facilities are expected to process nearly 500,000 tons per year of municipal waste and 200,000 tons per year of CDW.

Furthermore, the project is claimed to be the second waste treatment project in Central & Eastern Europe in Marguerite’s portfolio, after the 210,000 tons per year EfW plant in Poznań, Poland, which has been operational since last year.

Suez Group senior executive vice president in charge of France, Italy and Central Europe Marie-Ange Debon said: “We are delighted to welcome Marguerite in our partnership with the City of Belgrade, which has been designed as a sustainable, reliable and affordable scheme to improve waste management in the Serbian capital.

“We are convinced the project can serve as a model for other EU pre-accession countries, as well as other emerging countries around the world faced with similar challenges.”