The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting transit capacity and import and export cargo capacity in Azerbaijan. The Bank is providing a senior secured loan of up to US$ 4 million to West & East Forward LLC (WE Forward) and Alat Bay Industrial Development AFEZCO (Alat Bay) for the construction of a cold and dry warehouse with a 5,000-tonne storage capacity.
The investment addresses the shortage of commercial cold storage warehouses in Azerbaijan. It is also set to enhance the flow of goods to, and via, Azerbaijan by reducing the cost and time of delivery between the Black Sea ports of Georgia and Baku. This means fewer truck trips to transport temperature-controlled goods, and therefore fewer transport-related carbon emissions.
The EBRD will support the use of sustainable refrigeration technology and green elements in the construction design with grant facilities. As a result, the storage facility is set to become the first EDGE-certified (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency) building in Azerbaijan. Supporting sustainable infrastructure is one of the ways that the EBRD is boosting regional connectivity, along with Azerbaijan’s transition to a green economy.
The Bank will also promote equal opportunities by enabling access to skills and employment for young women and men in the logistics sector of Azerbaijan. The project is set to support the development of an internationally certified logistics management programme and training of 100 students, including 40 women. This will be complemented by EU Neighbourhood Investment Platform grant funding provided under the EBRD’s FINTECC programme.
WE Forward is an established transport services provider operating in Azerbaijan since 1993. Its core business is the transportation of chilled and frozen products. WE Forward’s operations in Azerbaijan form an integral part of its clients’ supply chains. Alat Bay is a project company established in 2022 in the Alat Free Economic Zone of Azerbaijan.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Azerbaijan. Since the start of its operations there in 1992, the Bank has invested over US$ 3.1 billion in 181 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with most of those investments in private enterprises. The Bank’s strategy in the country focuses on helping Azerbaijan to diversify its economy and develop the non-oil private sector.