Astarta secures $25m loan from EBRD to develop and modernize Ukraine grain sector


Ukraine agricultural conglomerate Astarta Grain has secured a $25m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade its grain and sugar facilities.

The project is part of the Group's long-term strategy to modernise its grain and sugar infrastructure to achieve greater operating and production efficiency, while lowering costs.

Astarta Group, founded in 1993, is the one of the largest vertically integrated agricultural companies in the Ukraine. The company mainly focuses on cultivating grains and sugar beets, operates eight sugar plants, leases around 250,000 hectares of arable land, runs dairy farms and is engaged in soybean processing.
The undertaking

The project involves the construction and acquisition of six grain storage facilities with a capacity of 480,000 tons and the construction of one sugar storage facility with a storage capacity of 50,000 tons.

The new storage facilities will be located in Poltava and Khmelnitsky on undeveloped land or existing logistics sites.

The project is expected to have significant environmental and energy efficiency benefits by moving from old inefficient storages with modern silo facilities, thus contributing to Green Economy Transition.

Potential impacts will relate primarily to occupational safety risks during the construction, as well as dust emissions during the loading and unloading of grains and sugars. There will also be some emissions associated with heat generation from grain drying.

However, Astarta has an environmental, health and safety (EHS) system in place aligned with ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 standards.

Astarta reported good financial results for the first six months of 2017

  •     Consolidated revenues grew by 69% to €250m ($297m)
  •     Net profit €73m ($86m) (-4% y-o-y)
  •     Cash flow from operations increased by 23% to €66m ($78m)
  •     Net debt reduced y-o-y by 31% to €99m ($117m)
  •     Financial expenses reduced by 78% to €4.3m ($5.11m)

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