EIB agrees EUR 8 billion investment in education, energy, telecom and local businesses
- Release date: 15 March 2018
- Reference: 2018-065-EN
- EUR 1.5 billion support for business investment in Europe and North Africa
- EUR 1 billion financing for Oosterweel Antwerp bypass completion
- Financing for Europe’s highest windfarm approved
Meeting in Luxembourg earlier today the Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a total of EUR 8 billion of new financing for 34 projects in the European Union, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Following the approval the EIB expects to finalise financing for new investment in education, energy telecommunications, transport, urban development projects and business lending programmes. This includes EUR 1 billion for the completion of the Antwerp by-pass and EUR 1.2 billion for new research and innovation investment in Spain.
“In spite of the improving business confidence in Europe, significant investment gaps remain. To address these, the EU Bank has today backed exciting new projects that will enable companies to expand, tackle transport bottlenecks, harness clean energy sources and cut energy bills for European citizens. This as well as a massive investment program for research and innovation in Spain will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the EU economy”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Investment Plan for Europe
Financing totalling EUR 2.3 billion for 13 projects approved by the EIB board will be backed by the Investment Plan for Europe and support overall investment totalling EUR 10.2 billion.
Today’s approvals included the financing of education investment in France, as well as support for smaller companies in Italy, Spain and Portugal and renewable energy projects in Austria and Greece.
Enhancing access to finance by companies
Private sector investment will be profit from EUR 1.5 billion of new financing approved for lending to local businesses by financial partners in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
This includes dedicated initiatives to support investment by innovative firms and companies active in bioeconomy and agriculture and lending programs to enhance access to long-term credit facilities.
Backing transformational road, rail and maritime transport investment
The EIB Board approved EUR 1.46 billion of new transport investment that will cut time lost in traffic jams and congested ports as well as improve sustainable local transport.
The Board agreed to EUR 1 billion support for the construction of the Oosterweel link that will complete the city’s ringroad and significantly reduce traffic congestion.
The EIB also approved financing to expand capacity at two container facilities in Portugal, at Leixões close to Porto and Alcântara near Lisbon, and at East Africa’s principal port in Mombassa.
Support for a new tramway project in the Normandy city of Caen and next-generation rolling stock for use on Luxembourg railways was also confirmed.
Support for renewable energy and energy efficiency around the world
The EIB Board approved support for investment in two new wind farms in northern Greece and Austria that will generate more than 74 MW of clean energy once operational. Tauernwind is located at an altitude of 1900 metres and is the highest wind farm in Europe. Repowering of the project will increase generation capacity by more than 50%.
The first new EIB investment in China approved in 2018 will reduce carbon emissions and pollution from outdated coal-fired boilers in the Chinese city of Baotou through EUR 100 million of new EIB financing for urban energy infrastructure.
Financing for construction of three new solar photovoltaic plants in Mexico was also agreed.
Approval of EUR 932 million EIB financing for Trans-Anatolian Pipeline
Following detailed assessment the EIB Board approved EUR 932 million of financing for the 1850km Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) to bring natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Europe. Financing for construction of the TANAP pipeline has already been confirmed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB).
The project is key component of the Southern Gas Corridor, an initiative identified by the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, and the European Parliament as strategically important for the EU’s energy policy.
Strengthening world class research and education
The EIB Board approved EUR 1.2 billion of new financing to improve innovation and competitiveness in Spain through support for research institutions and public research bodies. This will back investment across the country managed by the Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation.
The Board supported financing proposals for new education investment in France. This includes support for the redevelopment of the Fontainebleau campus of INSEAD business school to improve research facilities and reduce energy use as well as investment to expand and renovate 17 secondary schools in southern France.
Improving internet and mobile communications
The EIB is expected to provide EUR 140 million for investment by Vodafone to roll out next generation mobile networks in Ireland and expand 4G coverage in rural and remote areas of the country.
The EIB Board also approved EUR 400 million of support for expansion of ultra-high speed broadband networks across Belgium by Proximus to enable an estimated 38% of companies to benefit fom improved Fibre-to-the-Business communications.
New equity engagement to unlock small-scale energy and infrastructure investment
Reflecting the EIB’s increased support for equity investment new participation totalling EUR 375 million was agreed. This will support investment in four specialist funds to support greenfield renewable energy schemes, transport, telecom and venture capital activity.
Backing construction of Near Zero Energy Buildings to halve carbon emissions
EUR 100 million of EIB financing was approved to support new construction of near zero energy buildings in Germany. This will significantly reduce both heating costs and cut related carbon emissions by 50%.