Investment Plan for Europe: European Commission Vice-President visits Talgo's EIB-financed innovation project
Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, today visited the innovative projects being developed at Spanish company Talgo's Madrid plant with Investment Plan for Europe support from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Dombrovskis was joined by representatives from the EIB, which signed a EUR 30m loan with Talgo in December 2017 as part of the so-called “Juncker Plan”. This loan will fund improvements to high-speed and suburban train technology and a new prototype for the short and medium-distance electric trains segment. The EIB is financing this project to facilitate the investment needed to improve the safety, comfort and energy efficiency of this mode of transport.
“For the past three years, the Investment Plan for Europe has helped support innovative projects across the EU. Talgo's research and development project is a good example of what the EU budget guarantee has been supporting. By investing in developing state-of-the-art technology, Talgo is able to improve the services offered to train passengers in Spain, making a tangible difference to the daily commute, as well as for travellers on longer journeys. The project also means jobs are supported across the entire supply chain. Under our new InvestEU Programme, innovative projects such as this one will continue to be supported by the EU in the next financing period,” said Dombrovskis.
The EU financing will enable Talgo to offer new products, accelerate its overseas expansion and create new jobs. Talgo Executive Chairman Carlos Palacio commented: “Innovation lies at the very heart of Talgo's history, and is receiving a boost from the financing of these projects. The company is considered a technological leader for its ability to design and manufacture products that adapt to and anticipate industry requirements. Its innovations are enabling Talgo to play a part in defining the future of rail transport worldwide.”
The Investment Plan for Europe in Spain
Since the plan's launch in 2015, the EIB has approved 82 operations in Spain alone, providing financing of EUR 6.3bn to mobilise around EUR 35bn in additional investment. The Investment Plan for Europe is enabling the EIB to ensure that a diverse range of sectors can access competitive long-term financing for their investments.
Head of Office for the EIB in Spain, Alberto Barragán, said: “support from the EU bank under the Investment Plan for Europe is making it possible to guarantee the competitiveness of Spanish companies, granting them financing with very favourable interest rates and maturity periods to enable them invest in innovation. Spain has been one of the top beneficiaries of EIB Juncker Plan financing since the initiative was launched.”
EU commitment to innovation in Spain
Talgo joins other Spanish companies such as engineering firm Batz, pharmaceutical company Laboratorios Farmaceúticos Rovi, and technology multinational SENER in receiving Juncker Plan loans for innovation.
As well as supporting economic growth in Spain's strategic sectors, the EU assistance also aims to combat climate change and develop energy efficiency.
From Luxembourg to Spain: how EIB loans work
The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States, with its headquarters in Luxembourg. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is a pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks.
EFSI has already yielded tangible results. Projects with total financing of EUR 57.5bn have been approved to date across the EU. They are expected to mobilise more than EUR 287bn in investment and support around 635 000 SMEs in 28 Member States.
The Juncker Plan is among the European Commission's main priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.