France: Basse-Normandie Region: EUR 150m for the energy efficiency of lycées
- Release date: 12 April 2013
- Reference: 2013-046-EN
Laurent Beauvais, President of the Basse-Normandie Region, and Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), formalised the loan contract today between the Bank and the Region at Abbaye-aux-Dames in Caen, headquarters of the Basse-Normandie Region.
At the signing of the agreement, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz declared, “I very much welcome this quality partnership with Basse-Normandie, the first French region to receive a direct loan from the EIB for its university. The modernisation and construction of highly energy-efficient lycées (upper secondary schools) and university centres are crucial for education and sustainable development. And we are responsible for creating the optimum conditions for financing such projects that are drivers of regional economic growth, employment and social cohesion.”
Laurent Beauvais, President of the Basse-Normandie Region also stated, “I appreciate the confidence that the EIB has placed in us. The Bank’s loan to the Region reflects our robust financial position. It is a key commitment for the Basse-Normandie Region, enabling us to finance large-scale projects such as the Ifs lycée and the health centre. Moreover, it is in line with the Basse-Normandie Region's efforts to diversify its financing.”
Management of lycée assets has been one of the Region's main areas of responsibility since 1986. Every year, the local authority undertakes major lycée construction and renovation projects with a view to providing the staff and pupils of Basse-Normandie with good facilities.
Over the period 2011-2015, 47 general and vocational lycées will benefit from the Region’s investment, the largest project being the construction to HQE (High Environmental Quality) standards of a vocational lycée in Ifs, dedicated to the catering and bakery trades.
The Region is also carrying out several large-scale investment operations in the higher education sector, including in particular the construction of a healthcare training centre in Caen, which will bring medical and paramedical training courses together on surface area of 22 000 m². Almost 4 000 students will be trained there as from the beginning of the 2014 school year. This project will also be built in accordance with the HQE initiative.
In all the property development projects for which the Region is the contracting authority, environmental impact control and energy efficiency are central concerns.
In order to finance these different investment programmes totalling EUR 336m over the period 2011-2015, the Basse-Normandie Region has obtained a EUR 150m 25-year loan from the EIB.
This operation makes it possible to adapt the term of the loan to the nature and the size of the investment schemes. The Region is investing EUR 180m a year in the future of the lycées, research and development, vocational training and transport. The loan will help it to consolidate its strong financial position. The Region's debt repayment capacity of 2.3 years is amongst the lowest of the French regions (sixth out of 22).
At a time when the EIB is stepping up its activities in support of innovative and job-creating projects thanks to its capital increase, the principal advantage of this financing operation is that it enables the BasseNormandie Region to obtain a long-term loan on favourable financing terms owing to the EIB's "AAA" rating. In the current context of shrinking credit supply on the market, it contributes to optimising the project's overall financing plan.
This EIB loan to the Basse-Normandie Region reflects the Bank's increased support for the development projects of local authorities, especially in the education sector, which amounted to a total investment of more than EUR 2bn in 2012.