London, United Kingdom, 26 November 2008 -- EBRD is making an equity investment of EUR 2 million in Edipack Sh.a, the only paper-producing company in Albania, to support the company’s plans to install a recycled paper production line and establish waste paper recycling networks throughout Albania.
Edipack’s operations involve production of paper from recycled material to make cardboard and packaging materials. This investment will establish a precedent in Albania of environmentally-friendly paper production supported by an organized collection and recycling network.
The Bank’s funds will be used by the company to diversify and expand its products and services. The newly installed paper production line and waste paper recycling network complements the existing facilities for production of corrugated cardboard and cardboard packages. Edipack plans to expand the product range to new products, in particular for packaging and shipment of agricultural products from Albania.
The EBRD financing will help Edipack establish its own structure for collecting waste paper, thus helping improve Albania’s waste management situation. The company will install waste paper bins in areas of large use, such as shopping malls, warehouses of importers (especially of vegetables and fruits), government ministries, municipalities, universities, and printing houses.
Bardhyl Ballteza, Edipack’s chairman said: “EBRD’s investment will help ensure Edipack meets its goals of reducing the cost of raw materials, through the establishment of a collection network, and increasing revenues by expanding the variety of final products.”
Dan Berg, the head of EBRD’s office in Albania, noted: “Not only is this investment good for business, but we hope it will help change attitudes toward recycling in Albania. The investment with Mr. Ballteza, who is also president of the Albanian Recyclers Association, should stimulate other companies to look for opportunities to recycle waste into profits.”
The EUR 2 million equity investment is being arranged under the EBRD–Italy Western Balkans Local Enterprise Facility (WBLEF). This Facility was established by the EBRD with financial contributions and support from the Italian government. WBLEF is contributing to the economic recovery of the western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) through the provision of mainly equity and quasi-equity financing to small and medium local enterprises.
Edipack, which is located in Porto Romano near Durres, has been producing corrugated cardboard and cardboard boxes since 2003. It is the largest Albanian producer of cardboard materials, although most cardboard materials are still imported to Albania. Besides producing its own boxes, the company sells corrugated paper as an intermediate product to other local packaging producers.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Albania, having invested more than EUR 400 million in a number of important sectors, including national infrastructure, the financial sector, and the private corporate sector.