The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), announces a loan for EUR 55 million (ESP 9.2 billion)(1) to finance construction of a new float glass manufacturing plant in Sagunto, Valencia Province. The beneficiary will be GLAPILK A.I.E., a company formed by the Belgian and British groups Glaverbel S.A. and Pilkington plc for the purpose of building and operating the plant.

The flat glass produced by GLAPILK will mainly be intended to supply Glaverbel and Pilkington's glass processing plants in Spain, which manufacture flat glass products for the construction and motor vehicle industries. Owing to its fragility, transporting flat glass from production sites in other countries is difficult and costly, hence the logistic importance of building a new plant in Spain.

To be located in Sagunto, a former steel-making area with higher unemployment than the Spanish average, the plant will give a major boost to employment in the region. Expected to provide 135 direct jobs when fully operational, it will also have a positive spin-off for related sectors by using local raw materials as well as drawing on the services of local, in the main transport and maintenance businesses.

The EIB was created in 1958 by the founding treaty of the European Economic Community, the Treaty of Rome. It was set up to contribute to the integrated and balanced development of the Member States, as well as to their economic and social cohesion, by providing long-term finance for capital investment fulfilling EU objectives. Foremost among these is fostering increased competitiveness of European companies, thereby both strengthening the Union's economic and social fabric and helping to generate stable jobs, one of the EU's priority goals.Owned by the EU Member States, the EIB raises the resources for its lending operations on the capital markets, where its bond issues are consistently rated AAA.

(1) EUR 1 = ESP 166,386; GBP 0,666300.