The European Investment Bank (EIB) announces a loan of EUR 80 million(1) to Twinerg S.A for construction and operation of a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant at Esch-sur-Alzette.

Twinerg S.A., future owner and operator of the new plant, is a private Luxembourg company, whose shareholders are the Luxembourg companies Cegedel (17.5%) and Sotel, a subsidiary of the Arbed group, (17.5%), as well as the Belgian power generation company Electrabel S.A. (65%). This partnership project will lead to creation of Luxembourg's first major thermal power plant. Upon completion in late 2001, the plant's output will account for around one third of the country's consumption and accordingly provide a substitute for current imports (at present meeting 95% of the Grand Duchy's electricity needs).

This combined cycle plant will use proven and efficient technology. A state-of-the-art, medium-sized installation with a capacity of 350 MW, it will be located on an industrial site in Esch-sur-Alzette. It will be equipped with a combined turbine, a steam turbine and an alternator on a single shaft, including a waste heat boiler and a dry cooling system. The plant has been designed to allow for retrofitting for sales of process steam and heat. The project includes connection to the high-voltage power grid and the natural gas network, both in close proximity to the site.

The EIB loan will assist the development of energy-efficient power generation on a national scale, while fostering the growth of the Esch-sur-Alzette area, an Objective 2 region under Community regional policy. It is a further example of EIB support for Union policies, notably regional development and energy conservation. Between 1995 and 1999, the EIB directed EUR 14.3 billion towards projects in the energy sector aimed at using energy more efficiently, exploiting Member States' domestic resources or diversifying imports into the European Union.

(1) 1 EUR = 0,613400 GBP; 40,3399 BEF/LUF.