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KfW IPEX-Bank finances the world's largest biogas plant in north-eastern Germany

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH, jointly with NIBC Bank N.V. and Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien, finances the world's largest biogas upgrading plant.

The plant is currently under construction north of Güstrow in the north-eastern German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The loan documentation was signed on Friday. The plant was designed by NAWARO BioEnergie AG, Leipzig.

It covers an area of 20 hectares, and from June 2010 onward will produce 46 million cubic metres of biogas in natural gas quality (BGNQ) every year. Both its size and its output will make it the largest in the world.

To finance the plant, funds totalling around EUR 122 million are being provided through bank loans and by private investors via a fund initiated by IGB AG. The bank loans of just under EUR 80 million were structured by KfW IPEX-Bank. The funds are being granted by a banking consortium comprising KfW IPEX-Bank, NIBC Bank N.V. from the Netherlands and Austria's Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien.

KfW IPEX-Bank and NIBC Bank N.V., both acting as Mandated Lead Arrangeres, each are providing 45% of the long-term financing.

Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien joins as Lead Arranger. Promotional funds from the KfW Bankengruppe "Renewable Energies" programme are also being provided to help finance the project.

Key components of the plant are being supplied by EnviTec Biogas AG, Lohne, a market leader in the field of biogas. In a specially developed process, the biogas produced in the plant from renewable raw materials such as maize silage, grain and grass cuttings will be upgraded to biomethane using a water scrubbing technique, and then fed into the gas grid. The first delivery of gas to the grid is planned for June 2009. From 2010 onward there are plans to feed an annual 46 million cubic metres of biogas into the national gas grid.

This amount of biogas enables the generatation of around 160 GWh of electricity and 180 GWh of useful heat per annum - enough to provide a constant and complete supply of environmentally sound energy to a city of up to 50,000.

By financing the plant, KfW IPEX-Bank is not only supporting a landmark pilot project in the renewable energy sector, but is also helping support the local farming community and create new jobs. At the same time the local production of environmentally friendly energy also helps diversify the gas supply in Germany. Financing renewable energy projects is a permanent feature of KfW IPEX-Bank's portfolio, and helps protect both the environment and the climate.

About KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Within KfW Bankengruppe KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH provides project and corporate financing as well as trade and export financing domestically and abroad. Worldwide it conducts all market activities of KfW Bankengruppe that are carried out on commercial terms. KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH has been operating as a legally independent subsidiary since 1 January 2008 and contributes significantly to the promotional mission of KfW Bankengruppe. It has approx. 490 employees (as of May 2009) and is represented in the key economic and financial centres throughout the globe.

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