Balkan Energy and Infrastructure Finance Forum 2011

We are pleased to announce the Balkans Energy & Infrastructure Finance Forum 2011 event materials are now available to download from our website, thank you to all our speakers, panellists and delegates who took part. A special thanks goes out to our sponsors Jinko Solar, Konrad & Justich, Attica Ventures and Kirka Suri.

This year’s event brought together over 70 leading financing and energy experts from across Europe, including Greece, Monaco, Belgium, UK, Germany, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Turkey and Czech Republic. Taking place in the excellent facilities of the Hilton Athenee Palace Hotel in Bucharest, the event promoted heated debate surrounding the future potential of Energy Projects in the Balkans. With detailed review of regulation, subsidy and incentive regimes, the legislative environment, grid parity, LP, IFI and public financing, and the role of private sector financing. In depth discussions regarding Hydro, Solar, Wind and Biomass project potential provided an excellent forum for debate. Chaired by Mr Virgil Musatescu (APER) and opened by Mr Alexandru Sandulescu (Ministry of Economy), the event moved swiftly onto a review of Balkan renewable energy subsidy regimes by Mr Atanas Georgiev (Sofia University). An in depth review of the Romanian regulatory market followed with a presentation by Mrs Maria Manicuta (ANRE). Dr Christian Konrad (Konrad & Justich) closed the opening presentations with a thought-provoking speech on the importance of Bilateral Investment Treaties, including the role of the Energy Charter Treaty, a well received and popular presentation. The opening session was then closed with a panel discussion on the future role of regulators in the Balkan markets, chaired by Mr Georgiev.

Following the networking break, Mr Aleksandar Kovacevic (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies) presented on the feasibility of TEN-E/TEN-T and energy security in the Balkans, then chairing a panel discussion on the challenges of a distributed grid, including contribution from Ms Georgeta Ion (Opcom). After a chance to network over lunch, the afternoon IFI/LP finance session was opened by Mr Dominic Hereth (Finance in Motion) highlighting the activities of the Green For Growth Fund, this was aptly followed by Dr Veselka Kambourova (Encon Services) presenting on the EBRD credit lines for Bulgaria and then by Mr Mihnea Craciun (EBRD) talking about the EBRD’s role in the Balkans. The subsequent panel was confidently chaired by Mr Konrad with excellent panellist contributions from
Mr Emerson Garcia (Jinko Solar) and Mr Georgiev, as well as the aforementioned speakers. The panel discussed the future role of IFIs/LPs in the Balkans and current project finance initiatives.

Another coffee break provided time for key issues to be discussed further, before the final session of the day: Private Sector Financing. Mr Richard Roberts (Crescent Capital) provided an excellent overview of the Turkish market and then joined the following panel discussion alongside Mr Robert Ghelasi (Capital Partners), Mr Vladimir Karolev (BAC Ltd), Mr Jim Campion (Enercap), Mr Boaz Peled (Energy Rose Group), Mr Sotirios Chinos (Attica Ventures) and Ms Gabriela Florea (UniCredit Leasing). Excellently hosted by Mr Adam De Sola Pool (European Investment Partners) this panel asked: Can private investment meet demand for energy projects? Specific debate surrounded subsidy and feed-in tariff regimes, legislative weaknesses and the role of regulation. This panel provided an excellent close to the first day, addressing all of the key issues raised in previous sessions and allowed a considerable amount of Q&A time for the audience. A cocktail reception hosted by E.E.L. Events provided time for further networking and a chance to relax on the beautiful Hilton sun terrace.

Day 2 aimed to provide a detailed analysis of specific renewable energy sectors, including Hydro, Solar, Wind and Biomass. It was opened by an overview presentation of the Balkan market by Ms Florea of UniCredit Leasing and was followed with a focused speech on Hydro investment opportunities in Romania by Mr Ghelasi. The future of Solar PV manufacturing and grid parity for solar energy was discussed by Ms Gulnara Abdullina (Jinko Solar), who’s excellent knowledge of the PV market provided a great discussion point. The issues raised were further enhanced by presentations from Mr Martin Simonek (Bloomberg) and Mr Bruce Douglas (3E). Another networking coffee break was followed with an insight into the Balkan Wind Energy market, initiated by Ms Dana
Duica (Romanian Wind Energy Association), who further highlighted the issues surrounding regulation and Green Certificates. The subsequent panel was lead by Mr Douglas with excellent contributions from Mr Ondrej Safar (CEZ) and Mr Peled. The wind energy market in Romania is particularly interesting and this panel had several important questions raised by the audience and discussed in detail by the panel experts. The final session of the event followed after the lunch break and was sponsored by Kirka Suri. The Biomass session opened with a detailed review of the Biomass potential in SEE by Dr Julije Domac (North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency) and followed with a technology assessment by Mr Ulrich Sawetzki (ETS). Mr Sinisa Janjusevic (Kirka Suri) then provided an excellent presentation on the development of biomass-to-energy projects in Serbia and the Balkans, commenting on the future potential for municipal and industrial applications. The event closed with a popular panel discussion on Biomass led by Dr Domac, with contributions from the speakers and Ms Florea. The panel raised a number of interesting points including the future of Waste-to-Energy projects.

We would like to thank all our speakers, sponsors and delegates for attending the conference and look forward to welcoming them back to another event. For a full list of delegates, the event brochure or to download the conference materials please contact our investment team: investment@eelevents.co.uk / +44 (0) 207 275 8020 / www.eelevents.co.uk. Book your place early for our 2012 event and save 15%, offer valid only until 29 July 2011. Sponsorship and presentation requests are also being taken now.

Tom Popple
Project Manager (tom.popple@eelevents.co.uk)

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