Euromoney Project Finance magazine has awarded five ‘Deals of the Year 2007’ to European Investment Bank (EIB) supported projects. The prizes recognise innovation and excellence in project financing and were awarded at a dinner ceremony in London on 6 March.

For the second year running, Euromoney honoured EIB financing activities both inside and outside the European Union. The successful projects came from a range of infrastructure and industry sectors which include energy, transport, water and mining.

EIB President, Philippe Maystadt said, "I am delighted to see the dedication of EIB staff and our innovative approach to financing projects all over the world recognised at this prestigious award ceremony."

  • Bujagali Hydroelectric Project - African Power Deal of the Year
  • Ambatovy Nickel Mine - African Mining Deal of the Year
  • Hadera Desalination Plant - EMEA Desalination Deal of the Year
  • Millau Viaduct - European Transport (Refinancing) Deal of the Year
  • Ostregion/A5 - European Transport (Roads) Deal of the Year

The EIB worked to ease the power shortages that are having a significant negative impact on the Ugandan economy with a USD 136m loan to the Government of Uganda. The Bujagali hydroelectric project involves the construction of a dam and hydroelectric power station on the Nile River. The project will largely replace polluting and expensive thermal power generation, and will double electricity generation in Uganda. The EIB participated in the project as part of an international financing consortium that includes the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank and European bilateral agencies.

Madagascar’s economic development was supported by a USD 300m EIB loan for the Ambatovy nickel-cobalt mine east of the country’s capital, Antananarivo. The project is noteworthy for its positive impact on national export revenues and job creation, and the extensive use of local entrepreneurs as service providers to the mine. The EIB’s loan also provides for health and safety programmes and the project promoters have worked closely with civil society organisations to guarantee appropriate measures to protect the environment. The Ambatovy project is promoted by a Canadian sponsor and debt financing is provided by a consortium consisting of the EIB, the African Development Bank and Export Finance Agencies from Canada, Japan and Korea.

Both the quantity and quality of the drinking water in Israel will benefit from the EIB’s EUR 120m loan for a new desalination plant in Hadera, north of Tel-Aviv. The freshwater plant will have positive impacts on health and the environment in the Mediterranean country where the EIB is active under FEMIP, Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership. The water project is Israel’s first example of partnership between the public and private sectors which is supported by an international financial institution, the EIB, and a consortium of international banks led by French bank Calyon and Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo.

Travellers along the major European transport corridor between Paris and Barcelona benefit from the EIB’s EUR 143m loan for the long-term maintenance of the Millau Viaduct. In 2002, an initial EUR 50m EIB loan supported the construction of the 2.5km-long bridge to relieve a traffic bottleneck on the A75 between Clermont Ferrand and Béziers at Millau. The 2007 loan will ensure that the bridge is properly maintained after the initial years of operation and supports the European objective to improve the movement of people and goods within the Union.

Another EIB-financed project on a European transport route won the European Transport (Road) Deal of the Year. The EIB provided funding to cut congestion times around Vienna, Austria and to improve transport links to the Czech Republic. This landmark project between the Austrian public road authority and the private sector is the first example of a major public-private partnership in the country. The EUR 350m EIB loan to the winning Consortium was provided alongside an international capital market bond placement led by Deutsche Bank, guaranteed by AMBAC.

These Euromoney Project Finance awards for EIB-financed projects are the latest in a series of nominations in recent years. Notable awards for projects outside Europe include the pioneering Moma Titanium project in Mozambique, the Sasol Mozambique-South Africa gas pipeline, and the Equinox Lumwana Copper project in Zambia. Notable awards inside Europe include the Rotherham Schools PPP project in the UK and the Andasol renewable energy project in Spain.