EIB agrees EUR 11.5 billion backing for transport, education, energy and private sector investment
- Release date: 19 September 2017
- Reference: 2017-263-EN
The board of the European Investment Bank approved new financing totalling EUR 11.5 billion at its meeting in the Bulgarian capital Sofia today. This includes support for investment to improve transport, education, urban development, water, energy and communications, alongside backing business investment across Europe and around the world. New Public-Private Partnership (PPP) financing for urban rail, motorway construction and flood defences was also agreed.
“Economies across Europe and around the world enjoy solid growth rates at the moment, but there is still a large investment gap that needs to be tackled. Investment is needed in many areas, from fighting climate change to supporting the digital transformation. As the Bank of the European Union the EIB helps companies of all sizes to flourish and develop new products and services”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Bulgarian Prime Minister opens new EIB office and welcomes strengthened EIB engagement
Ahead of the meeting Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Vladislav Goranov, Finance Minister and EIB Governor, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank formally opened the EIB Group’s Sofia office.
“Today’s board meeting builds on 25 years of EIB engagement in the country. The EIB’s permanent presence in Sofia, opened by Prime Minister Borissov earlier today and to be headed by Andreas Beikos, will ensure an even stronger partnership between the EU Bank and Bulgaria in the years ahead.” added Werner Hoyer.
Once a year the EIB’s 28 shareholders and representatives of the European Commission meet in the European country that will assume the next rotating next rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Backing investment to improve local and international transport
New financing totalling EUR 2.7 billion was approved for 12 different transport schemes.
These include EUR 1 billion for a new high speed rail line across the Basque country to the French border, and financing for a new light rail line between Helsinki and Espoo, upgrading the Madrid metro and new rolling stock for urban transport in Ulm, Warsaw, Poznan, Kharkov and Casablanca. Board members also agreed on support for upgrading Marseille port, a 92km new motorway connection in central France and roads in Madagascar.
Transforming research and education
The EIB board approved more than EUR 1.9 billion of new education and research financing.
This includes support for investment at universities and research institutes in Poland, Slovakia and Finland as well as backing refurbishment, expansion and improved digital infrastructure at schools across North-Rhine Westphalia.
Improving water and energy infrastructure
Backing for more than EUR 1.3 billion of new financing for water and energy projects include wind farms in Austria, smart meters in France, upgrading energy and water networks in Italy, expanding hydropower in Madagascar and renewable energy projects in Peru. New support for water and wastewater in the UK and investment in small scale biomass and district heating schemes across Europe was also agreed.
The board also approved new support to upgrade flood defences along the 32km Afsluitdijk on the northern Dutch coast.
Unlocking transformational urban investment
City wide investment in Gothenburg, regional development projects in Brandenburg, refurbishment of social housing in Vienna, residential Near Zero Energy Buildings across Sweden and regeneration of polluted industrial sites in Belgium will all be supported by EUR 1.3 billion of new urban investment agreed by the EIB board.
Helping businesses innovate and industry to expand
Reflecting the EIB’s commitment to support private sector business investment, the board gave the green light for EUR 3.2 billion of new financing for small business through dedicated local lending programmes alongside direct lending to larger companies.
New credit lines are expected to support digitalisation of small businesses in Spain, leasing and energy efficiency finance in Italy and upgrading technology in Poland. Financing for mid-cap companies in the Netherlands, France, Poland, Greece, Spain and Germany will also be strengthened.
Outside Europe dedicated financing will support manufacturing by SMEs and mic-cap companies in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as helping local banks in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to ensure wider access to finance by local small businesses.
The board also approved financing for corporate research and development including expansion of dairy product production by Mueller in Germany, development of new marine engines and industrial power plant technology in Finland, Italy and Spain by Wartsila, a new automotive manufacturing plant in Morocco and improved steel production by Acerinox SA in Spain.