The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 220 million for the modernisation of Europe's largest lignite fuelled power plant located in Belchatow in central Poland. The project will result in significant emission reduction and more efficient energy production.

The EIB loan will be used for the upgrading of four out of the twelve electricity generation units of the BOT-Belchatow Power Plant that is responsible for about 20% of Poland's total electricity production and represents part of the BOT - Belchatow, Opole, Turow holding. The project covers the installation, modernisation and upgrading of emission reduction facilities and the updating of the plant's water and waste management systems. This will help to extend the power plant's operational life and increase its electricity production capacity.

The BOT-Belchatow Power Plant uses Poland's resources of lignite which, together with coal, accounts for 95% of country's electricity production. The investment is in correspondence with the EIB lending priority to help Poland to meet the commitment to fully implement the EU environmental standards.

Mr. Ivan Pilip, EIB Vice-President responsible for Bank's operations in Poland, commented on the loan saying: The EIB supports the modernisation of the BOT-Belchatow Power Plant, Poland's major electricity production unit, as it contributes to emission reduction and the rationalisation of energy production. As a result of this project, Poland will move closer to implementing the EU environmental legislation whilst utilising lignite - one of the country's most significant energy resources.

The EIB, as the European Union's long-term financing institution, has provided about EUR 9.2 billion for projects in Poland since 1990. The major share of EIB lending in Poland - some 40% to 45% - has been directed into the transport infrastructure sector, followed by urban infrastructure (16%) and EIB Global Loans (16%) that serve for indirect financing of SMEs and municipalities. Since the start of its operations in the new Member States and Acceding Countries - Bulgaria and Romania - in 1990 the EIB has provided more than EUR 28 billion for projects fostering European integration in these countries. As such, the EIB is the most significant external source of financing in this region.