FMO is providing a US$ 25 million loan to agribusiness group Astarta to finance its green capital expenditure program. The program is aimed at improving resource efficiency of the group’s sugar business as well as reducing its environmental impact.

Astarta is a leading vertically-integrated agricultural holding in the Ukraine focused primarily on the cultivation of sugar beets, grains and oilseeds, the production of sugar and related products (molasses and granulated beet pulp), soybeans processing, and dairy farming. The loan proceeds will support the implementation of efficiency improvements and modernization of the group's existing sugar plants. Astarta will upgrade its equipment to best-in-class machinery. These improvements will lead to lower operation and energy costs as well as an increase in their productivity and efficiency.

The group will also use the financing for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant that will bring significant water savings ranging from approx. 50% with a minimum of 22 % and a maximum of 82 %. Through its capacity development program, which FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government, FMO supported Astarta with a feasibility study of the wastewater treatment plant.

Suzanne Gaboury, Director Agribusiness, Food & Water at FMO, said: “We are proud to support our long-term partner in their journey to green production and to improve resource efficiency”

Viktor Ivanchyk, CEO of Astarta: “Improving production technologies and finding the most effective solutions to reduce resource consumption is an incessant process in our company. New financing from FMO will assist Astarta to carry forward its strategy of efficient business growth.”

Astarta is a long-term partner of FMO and this is the third joint transaction since 2008. FMO is committed to support high-performing agricultural companies that strengthen local economies and create decent jobs. Astarta provides jobs for over 13,000 people mainly in rural areas and contributes positively to the export of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Agribusiness, Food and Water is a key sector for FMO. In the coming decades, the global population will increase to over 9 billion with fewer resources available. FMO has made Agribusiness a priority to help meet these challenges by focusing investments across the value chain: (I) enhancing food security, (II) supporting sustainability and (III) promoting inclusive development in an environmentally viable and socially inclusive manner.