The EU bank supported Austria's competitiveness in 2015 with EUR 1.8bn
- Release date: 25 February 2016
- Reference: 2016-054-EN
In 2015, the European Investment Bank (EIB) provided EUR 1.795bn of new loans in Austria, 20% more than in 2014.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who presented the EU bank's 2015 lending results today to representatives of the Austrian media stated: "2015 was an important year for the EU bank in Austria: we increased the disbursements for loans that are currently supporting the Austrian economy by 23% to EUR 2.05bn, the highest level since 2010. We are aiming to ramp up our significant commitment in Austria even further in order to strengthen the country's competitiveness. “
Promoting priority projects in the infrastructure sector
A considerable proportion of EIB lending in Austria went to the transport sector. ÖBB (Austrian Railways), for instance, received the first EUR 600m tranche of a EUR 1.8bn loan for upgrading the railway infrastructure between Vienna and Graz in the trans-European corridor linking the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic.
Last year, the EU bank granted a EUR 180m loan for the 2013-2018 investment programme of ASFINAG for upgrading tunnel safety.
In the environmental sector, the EIB lent EUR 150m to Hauptkläranlage GmbH (waste-derived fuel) for improving Vienna's main wastewater treatment plant and constructing facilities for biogas recovery. In addition, it is planned to build storm water retention basins, which will prevent untreated wastewater from overflowing into the Danube in the event of heavy rain.
Strong support for SMEs
In 2015, the EIB advanced loans totalling EUR 395m for the investments of SMEs and mid-caps (with up to 3 000 employees) and for medium-sized projects in Austria's public sector. In its lending operations, the EIB cooperates traditionally with all of Austria's major banks and leasing companies at national and regional level, which pass on the funds to the final beneficiaries.
Energy: modern networks and more renewable energy
In 2015, the EIB extended a EUR 50m loan to KELAG (Kärntner Elektrizität AG) to finance its thermal, wind and hydroelectric power plant programme and its network investments over the period 2014-2017.
Moreover, it granted a EUR 150m loan last year for the construction and operation of a new 89 MW hydropower plant on the Upper Inn River on the Swiss-Austrian border.
More research and innovation
In 2015, the EU bank made EUR 50m available from the InnovFin budget to the Austrian construction company Swietelsky Baugesellschaft mbH. InnovFin is a joint initiative of the EIB and the European Commission for the promotion of research and development activities in Europe.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) belongs to the EIB Group and provides risk financing to financial institutions with a view to assisting SMEs and mid-cap companies and encouraging innovation in Europe. In 2015, the EIF provided EUR 107m in Austria for four equity operations and three guarantee operations, mobilising EUR 530m of capital.