Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

EU-backed loan helps Czech SME invest in green technologies

EU-backed loan helps Czech SME invest in green technologies
Published on: 25/09/2017
Reducing pollution in Czech Republic’s Moravian-Silesian region is a key priority these days, and each small step towards improving environmental standards is more than welcome. Waste management company OVEX Plus is doing just that by applying greener technology to store ash produced by the Czech energy, coal and metallurgy industries.

Country: Czech Republic
Financial Intermediary: CMZRB – the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank
SME: OVEX Plus
Sector: Waste management
Number of employees: 12
Job creation: 5
Financing purpose: Business expansion and investment in green technology

 

Based in a heavily industrialised region, OVEX Plus has an important role managing, processing and storing industrial waste. Founded in 2006 in Ostrava, the company runs its operations from an 11-hectare dumping ground, located in Havířov. It was specifically created to accommodate industrial waste produced by the Czech energy sector.

OVEX Plus owner Miroslav Olszovy wanted to invest in greener technologies so the company could store a broader scope of waste materials. He was also looking into storing materials more effectively and without causing major harm to the region’s environment.

But to move things forward, he needed funding. Miroslav turned to the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (CMZRB), who gave OVEX Plus a € 64,750 loan guarantee in 2015. 70% of the €92,500 investment loan is guaranteed by the CMZRB. A large part of the bank’s national guarantee programme to support SMEs is counter-guaranteed 50 % by the EU’s COSME Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF). The COSME LGF, an initiative launched by the European Commission and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), has allowed CMZRB to increase the total number of entrepreneurs it supports.

Petr Krupa, from CMZRB, explained that ‘OVEX Plus met all required terms and conditions of the programme needed for the provision of the guarantee. Moreover, the supported project uses innovative and greener technology to significantly decrease negative environmental impacts, which is in accordance with key priorities of this industrial region.’

With this money, OVEX purchased new equipment. This allowed them to collect dusty material, such as coal ash, transport it to the dumping ground and, once on site, mix it with water.  In doing so, they help prevent the dusty material from being released into the air. This technology is set to help reduce air pollution in the region, which is greatly needed.

‘I am glad that applying this new technology allows us to extend the scope of services we offer to our clients, which helps us boost our position in the energy market in a sustainable and effective way. Positive environmental aspects of the new technology also become evident, which is important especially for our region,’ said Miroslav.

In 2015 EIF and CMZRB signed the counter-guarantee agreement implementing the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility to support small enterprises.  The agreement can benefit up to 1,400 local businesses, allowing them to upscale their competitiveness and access financing.

CMZRB notes: ‘Our main mission is to facilitate primarily SMEs' access to financing through specialised banking products and, in accordance with the economic policy aims of the government and the regions of the Czech Republic, to assist in developing other selected areas of the economy that require public support. CMZRB provides its clients, mainly SMEs, with bank guarantees, preferential loans and more.’

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing through our access to finance website.