The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) inked a €4 million loan agreement with Montenegro's largest food retail chain, Voli, in the capital Podgorica on Monday.
The company will use the funds to purchase and install solar panels of up to 4 megawatts in capacity as well as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its facilities and logistics center.
'I am pleased to see the EBRD continuing to work with its long-standing partner Voli through this green investment,' Miljan Zdrale, the EBRD regional head of agribusiness in southeastern Europe, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The project will support the company's energy efficiency in the current turbulent energy market, reducing its carbon footprint and improving its overall competitiveness, he added.
According to the statement, the upgrades will protect Voli from future potential energy price volatility, enabling significant carbon dioxide reductions. EV charging stations on site are also expected to make the chain more attractive to shoppers and tourists.
Founded in 1995, Voli is the leading retailer in Montenegro and the country's largest employer, with approximately 2,400 employees. The company started working with the EBRD in 2009 and the bank has become a minority equity investor in the company since 2015.
'Voli plans to develop more and more projects aimed at energy efficiency in the coming years,' the president of Voli, Dragan Bokan, was quoted as saying in the statement.
In consideration of their responsibility towards the community, Bokan said their 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,' he added.
By Duygu Alhan