Göteborg (Sweden) is the centre of attention for the European Investment Bank when two loans have been signed in the region.
Firstly, Götaleden, a busy urban road plus its diversion into a tunnel will be part-financed by an EIB loan of SEK 1600 million (EUR 166 million). Furthermore, SEK 465 million (EUR 54 million) will go to the City of Göteborg for the financing of Renova and its earlier construction of new waste facilities to collect, treat and dispose of waste in the city of Göteborg and the surrounding municipalities.
The first loan (SEK 1600 million) to Vägverket's project company Göteborgs Trafikleder AB consists of the improvement a 3.3 km section of the Götaleden, a busy urban road through the centre of Göteborg, including diversion of the route through a 1.6km tunnel. The purpose of the project is to reduce traffic congestion by providing an improved dedicated route for through-traffic. There will also be improved access to the Göteborg port and the E6 motorway between Oslo and Copenhagen. The idea is to separate this traffic from local traffic, so the local urban environment can be improved. At the same time, space will be created for the introduction of a new tram ring line. The project should therefore not only be assessed purely in terms of its transport benefits because it also has key role in the re-planning of the city, i.e. the urban renewal and redevelopment objectives that underpin the project are as important as those related to traffic.
SEK 465 million will go to the City of Göteborg for the financing of Renova AB, the company that handles most of the waste collection and waste treatment activities in the city of Göteborg. The investments are directed at a further reduction of the environmental impact of the waste handling activities and at an increase of the recycling and waste handling capacities of the company. These investments are necessary to modernise ageing installations, to create new capacity, and to upgrade facilities to ensure compliance with impending changes in environmental legislation.
The project will contribute to the improvement of the urban environment, which is an important factor for the EIB, which has the protection and improvement of the environment in general as one its top operational objectives.
Mr Tom Barrett, the EIB director who signed the loans on behalf of the EIB said: Göteborg is in the forefront of compliance with EU environmental policies and by reducing in particular air emissions and traffic congestion, the Renova and Götaleden investments help maintain this position. Together with the ongoing investment programme in the Port of Göteborg and other EIB loans in the Göteborg region, these projects will bring many benefits to this area.
Mr Hans Olsson, the Finance Director of the City of Göteborg who signed on behalf of the City said: The continuation of EIB's support to projects in the Göteborg area is very much welcomed by the City. The EIB support will help to create sustainable economic growth and improve the quality of life.
The AAA-rated European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial arm of the European Union, contributes by means of its long-term loans towards the integration and balanced development of its Member States as well as in countries outside the Union. In Sweden, the EIB has extended loans in 2002 totaling EUR 720 million for infrastructure investments, notably roads, railroads, bridges and telecommunication as well as investments within the energy, environment and the industry sector. In addition to large projects, the EIB has financed small and medium-sized public and private investments through credit lines (Global Loans) to financial intermediaries.