The European Investment Bank (EIB) has arranged an SEK 825 million (ECU 94m) facility with Göteborg Energi AB for financing electricity and district heating schemes in Western Sweden.

The first loan, of some SEK 300 million (ECU 35m) under this agreement between EIB, the European Union's financing institution, and Göteborg Energi was signed on Friday at the EIB Headquarters in Luxembourg.

The finance is to support the energy company's three-year investment programme for the modernisation and upgrading of the generation and distribution of electricity, district heating and cooling in Göteborg, Sweden's second largest city.

"Göteborg Energi is very satisfied with the loan agreement", the company's Vice President Åke Sköldberg underlined. "This is yet another confirmation of the soundness of our efforts to supply energy, combining environmental protection aspects with long-term efficiency."

The EIB's Swedish Vice President, Claes de Neergaard, said: "The loan to Göteborg Energi is a step towards an increase in EIB lending in the western parts of Sweden. The investments being supported are in line with the EIB's mission to finance projects promoting an efficient and environmental friendly use of energy."

The EIB is financing a number of large scale public sector investments within the energy, water and waste treatment sectors in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Skellefteå. In addition, the Bank has financed more than thirty small scale infrastructure investments in the public sector in Sweden through global loans arranged with local banks and other financial institutions.

EIB lending in Sweden so far this year already amounts to some SEK 7 billion, equivalent to last year's total, and has gone towards road, bridge and railroad connections, energy and environmental schemes and the upgrading of the telecommunications network.

The European Investment Bank, which is owned by the EU member states, supports with long-term financing, infrastructure and environmental projects as well as investment in industry promoting European integration and a balanced economic development.

The EIB's first class credit rating enables the Bank to raise funds on the keenest terms available on capital markets. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, the EIB onlends its funds at close to its cost of borrowing.

The conversion rates used by the EIB for statistical purposes during the current quarter are those obtaining on 31/03/1997 , when 1 ECU  = 0.71 GBP, 6.58 FRF , 1.16 USD, 8.80732 SEK.