A partner for Europe’s future
The EIB supports projects in every Member State of the European Union. The common goal is to create jobs, sustainable growth and a secure future. Here we highlight some EU-based projects we are supporting.
Belgium: Ever-evolving video production
EVS Broadcast Equipment (EVS) headquartered in Liège, Belgium, was the maiden beneficiary of a loan under the new Growth Finance Initiative (GFI) to support innovative midcap companies of up to 3 000 employees in their RDI activities.
The company provides its 8 000 customers worldwide with reliable and innovative technology to enable the production of live, enriched video programming. It operates mainly in four areas of video production, sports, entertainment, news and media.EVS assigns around 60% of its 500 staff and 20% of annual revenues to RDI. They must assure that their products integrate seamlessly with popular broadcast technology applications such as smartphones and tablets which have totally changed the way people want to view video content, and their demands for availability.
The loan of EUR 12m will go some way towards financing further developments in their industry, including a research and development centre (pictured). This will require engineers and involve the creation of highly skilled jobs in Europe
Reducing Estonia’s energy dependencies
Electricity consumption in Estonia rises by two to three percent every year. For this reason the country must ensure that supply is both secure and diverse, not least to ensure it meets its EU 2020 targets for renewable energy production.
As well as investing in comprehensive upgrades to Estonia’s electricity supply network, in 2011, the EIB provided a loan of EUR 45m to Eesti Energia to build two onshore wind parks in the Baltic nation. The larger of the two is situated at Narva, in the North-East of Estonia. It opened in 2012, and has a capacity of 39MW, which is enough to provide electricity for around 35 000 homes. The Narva wind park comprises 17 turbines and was constructed on the site of an old oil shale ash depository. This closed in 1987 and was reconditioned in the latter part of the last decade.
The second wind farm is at Paldiski, in the North-West of Estonia. It opened in August 2013 and counts nine turbines, with a capacity of 22.5MW, enough to power 20 000 homes.
A separate loan to Eesti Energia, this time of EUR 50m, supported the development of a recently opened waste-to-energy unit at Iru, close to the capital, Tallinn. Electricity and heat are produced from mixed municipal waste material, preserving other natural resources such as natural gas, of which 70m cubic metres would have to be used per year to extract the same energy output. Operating the facility also significantly reduces landfill use in Estonia, further benefitting the environment as well as backing up supplies of heat and energy for the residents of Tallinn and nearby Maardu.
A secure bridge for Greek SMEs
Export-minded SMEs are getting a secure bridge between international and domestic banks thanks to the first Trade Finance Facility (TFF) launched by the EIB in Greece in 2013 and extended to Cyprus in 2014.
The financial markets loss of confidence is depriving export-minded SMEs of credit to carry out their ambitions.
To address this, the EIB is providing EUR 500m in guarantees for foreign banks covering 85% of their risk vis-à-vis their Greek counterparts for letters of credit and other trade finance instruments, to mitigate the risks of non-payment or default.
The instruments have an average term of four months, so the underlying EIB funding can be revolved three times a year, supporting a transaction volume of EUR 1.5bn. The mitigation of risk through the guarantees eases cash collateral constraints and enables more comfort and confidence in dealing with Greek issuing banks and SMEs, allowing them to fulfil their ambitions.
SMEs in Greece can get back to doing what they do best: creating jobs and growth and helping to kickstart a stricken economy.
The TFF was conferred the Deal of the Year award 2013 by Trade & Forfeiting Review, the world’s leading trade and supply chain finance magazine.
Portugal: Renewable energy and transmission in the Azores
Situated some 1360km west of mainland Portugal, the nine volcanic islands of the Azores archipelago need to increase power generation from renewable energy sources in order to secure the quality and reliability of energy supply which poses unique challenges for islands.
A long-time partner of Electricidade dos Açores S.A. (EDA), the EIB supports the company’s 2011-2016 investment programme in geothermal energy, electricity transmission and distribution and oil-fired generation. This programme will add approximately 15.5 MW of generating capacity, implement some 200 transmission and distribution schemes in the nine islands as well as upgrade existing thermal power stations and reduce system losses.