The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing arm, is establishing a loan facility of DKK 400 million (EUR 54 million)(1) for Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, for expansion and modernisation of laboratory and production facilities. The EIB is financing investment to improve Statens Serum Institut's state-of-the-art research and development and technological capabilities, in particular in the areas of polio and combination vaccines, and diagnostics. In the financing arrangements, SSI has been advised by Den Danske Bank.

Founded in 1902, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) is Denmark's health services central laboratory and a national centre for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The tasks SSI carries out for the central health authorities and Danish hospitals include diagnostics, microbiology, production of vaccines and blood products, as well as surveillance, advice, teaching and research. It is responsible in Denmark for the safety and security and of the supply of vaccines, diagnostic tools and other biological products. SSI also sells its products and services on a commercial basis in Denmark and abroad.

EIB financed works include a new vaccine R&D and production plant, as well as the upgrading and expansion of existing facilitiesplant, production facilities for TB diagnostics and other immune-based tests, and new facilities for plasma fractioning.

The EIB is supporting the investment as it will strengthen the provision of health services in the European Union.

The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending institution, finances capital investment furthering EU policiesfurthering EU integration, in particular: regional development; trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy; industrial competitiveness and integration; SMEs; environmental protection; health and education; and energy security. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (AAA issuer). In 1999, the EIB lent some EUR 32 billion, of which EUR 4 billion for projects outside the EU.In Denmark, the EIB has during the last five years extended loans totalling some DKK 29 (EUR 3.9) billion to finance infrastructure projects, above all the Storebælt and Øresund rail-road fixed links, as well as investments within industry, and global loans.

(1) 1 EUR: 0.613400 GBP; 7.44750 DKK.