Two loans signed with Eni, the Italian energy company, for the Transmed gas pipeline, tansporting Algerian gas across Tunisia to Italy and the EU, and a new gas power plant near Ferrara.

The European Investment Bank and Eni signed on Wednesday 28th November in Milan two loans for strategic projects:

  • a EUR 200m loan to co-finance the construction of a combined cycle (electricity and heat) power plant just outside the city of Ferrara,
  • a EUR 185m loan to co-finance the expansion of the Transmed Gas Pipeline, which will improve the supply of Algerian gas, across Tunisia, to Italy and the EU.

The additional transportation capacity arising from the expansion was fully allocated through a transparent and non discriminatory procedure. These two loans were signed by Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) and Dario Scannapieco, Vice-President of the EIB responsible for activities in Italy.

The Transmed gas pipeline loan was granted to Eni S.p.A., which operates the Tunisian part of the Transmed pipeline through its subsidiary Trans Tunisian Pipeline Company Ltd. (TTPC). Supporting the improvement of the Transmed pipeline is in line with one of the European Union’s strategic priorities, to meet the growing demand for energy and guarantee the efficiency and security of supply. The Transmed pipeline has been identified as a priority energy route by the European Member States.

Algeria and Tunisia will both benefit from additional foreign currency income: Algeria will be selling greater quantities of gas while Tunisia will receive additional gas from the pipeline concession as transfer fees, thus generating sizeable savings on the cost of imported energy for the country. The construction and permanent operation of two new compressor stations will also create a significant number of jobs mostly in Tunisia.

The power plant in Ferrara, which will be operated by the Eni group subsidiary S.E.F. S.r.l. will serve the following objectives: growth in electricity demand in Italy, reduce dependency on electricity imports (thereby contributing to security of supply), and facilitate decommissioning of obsolete, inefficient and more polluting oil-fired power plants at the site and elsewhere in Italy. The new plant will both reduce harmful emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Note for editors:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group is the European Union's banking and financing group. Established by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the EIB finances projects in all economic sectors in the 27 Member States and any other countries that have signed cooperation agreements with the European Union.

In 2006, the EIB lent a total of EUR 45.8bn to finance projects furthering the European Union's objectives. Loans to the EU Member States totalled EUR 39.8bn (87% of the Bank's activities) and total lending to Italy amounted EUR 5.2 bn (13.0% of total lending in EU Member States).