Italy: EIB grants EUR 200 million to Centrobanca (UBI) for renewable energy projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Centrobanca (UBI Banca Group) have signed a framework loan for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Under the agreement, the EIB is making available to Centrobanca total funds of EUR 200 million that will be destined mainly for small and medium-scale projects (costing up to EUR 25 and 50 million respectively) but also for bigger schemes (costing more than EUR 50 million). Specifically, as well as energy efficiency projects, hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic and biomass plants will be eligible for financing.
The financing plan provides that the EIB will cover up to 50% of investment costs, with Centrobanca undertaking to provide the rest. In this way, projects worth a total of around EUR 400 million can be implemented under the framework loan. In some cases the EIB will be able to finance up to 75% of the project cost, for instance when a new plant in an energy efficiency scheme generates an energy saving of more than 20%.
Centrobanca will be responsible for identifying and appraising the projects, which will then be submitted to the EIB for approval.
The term of the sub-loans granted will be up to 20 years for photovoltaic power generation projects and up to 15 years for all other schemes.
The operation underlines the EIB’s commitment to financing projects combating climate change – one of its top priorities – in Italy. And it also forms part of Centrobanca’s efforts to finance renewable energy investment by both companies (including SMEs) and institutional investors.
The European Investment Bank supports the strategic and policy objectives of the European Union by granting long-term loans for economically viable investment projects. The EIB’s shareholders are the 27 EU Member States. Italy is one of the four leading shareholders, along with the United Kingdom, Germany and France, each holding a 16.2% stake in the Bank. At end-2008, the EIB’s total financing amounted to EUR 355bn, of which EUR 45bn went to Italy.
Centrobanca is the Corporate and Investment Bank of the UBI Banca Group, which specialises in medium-sized businesses. It offers its customers a full range of services, either directly or through its eight regional banks.