The European Investment Bank, the European Union's financing arm, is lending EUR 60 million for the upgrading and modernization of the Bulgarian power transmission sector. The long-term loan was signed today with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Sofia.

The loan for Bulgaria's energy company NEK will provide funding for a capital expenditure program in the country's transmission system to maintain the reliability and capacity of the network. The project will replace equipment that has reached the end of its useful life while also increasing the reliability of the power supplies for the Bulgarian consumers and reducing distribution losses.

During the signing Dr. Emanuel Maravic, Director of the European Investment Bank responsible for the Accession Countries commented: "Throughout Bulgaria reliable energy supply is of paramount importance for the country's further economic development. Business and household consumers alike will benefit from this enhanced stability of the net".

Since 1990, the EIB has lent some EUR 18 billion to projects in the ten Central European Accession Countries, of which amount EUR 1 billion related to projects in Bulgaria.