The European Investment Bank recently provided a total of EUR 310 million for energy security and efficiency in Greece and Cyprus.
A total of EUR 280 million went to the Greek Public Power Corporation. EUR 140 million of the EIB funds went to the new Aliveri natural-gas fired combined cycle power plant on the island of Evia, and EUR 140 million went to the extension and reinforcement of the Greek transmission and distribution networks, covering the whole range from high voltage of 400kV down to low voltage.
A further EUR 30 million went to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus for a new internal combustion engine power plant at the Dekeleia power station in the district of Larnaca in Cyprus. Initially powered with heavy fuel oil, the plant can be retrofitted to natural gas, once this becomes available in Cyprus. Electricity demand in Cyprus is rising and plants of this type provide a rapid response to load changes, which makes them suitable for generation of electricity during peak demand. This will help meet demand changes in particular during the summer months, when cooling and electricity needs are highest.
EIB Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris, whose responsibilities include the EIB's lending activities in Greece and Cyprus, as well as energy issues, stated today: "Our funding for energy security and efficiency in Greece and Cyprus is fully in line with the European "Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan", as well as the conclusions of the ECOFIN Council earlier this week calling for additional EIB finance for SMEs, infrastructure and key sectors particularly hit by the current slowdown, as well as climate change and energy. In the present context, and as the bank promoting European objectives, the EIB will provide additional financial support to the EU economy of up to EUR 31.2 billion in 2009-2010, increasing our annual investments to EUR 60 - 65 billion, from the 2007 level of EUR 48 billion".
The European Investment Bank (EIB) promotes European objectives and finances European projects, thereby stimulating capital investment aimed at modernising the economies of the Member States and the countries close to the Union. In 2007, the EIB lent a total of EUR 47.8 billion. Finance for the EU-27 Member States represented 87% of its activities and amounted to EUR 41.4 billion. To fund its activities, the EIB raised an aggregate amount of EUR 55 billion on the international capital markets through 236 bond issues in 23 currencies. Owned by the Member States, the EIB (with its AAA rating) is the world's largest supranational issuer. It was created under the Treaty of Rome along with other European Union institutions and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Bank's priority objectives include:
- EU cohesion and convergence
- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Environmental sustainability
- Transformation of the EU economy into a knowledge-based economy (Lisbon Agenda - Innovation 2010 Initiative (i2i))
- Trans-European transport and energy networks (TENs)
- Secure, sustainable and competitive energy supplies
In 2007, the EIB's lending in Greece, totalled EUR 0.8 billion. This went to transport, SMEs and, for the first time ever in Greece, local authorities (Municipality of Athens and Kozani).
In recent years in Greece, EIB financing in the energy sector has been directed towards securing sustainable energy supplies, reducing the burden on the environment and promoting the development of new sustainable energy sources. Signiﬁcant projects in this sector include support for (i) Public Power Corporation's network modernisation, involving several schemes to reinforce and extend electricity transmission and distribution networks throughout the country; (ii) the Greek Natural Gas Company's priority trans-European network schemes, notably investments in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Revithoussa, which increased capacity and enhanced overall security of supply; and (iii) the construction of the high pressure gas pipeline connecting Komotini with Alexandroupolis and the Turkish natural gas network at the Greek-Turkish border. In the private sector, the TERNA renewable energy project involves the construction of wind farms to generate renewable energy, thus promoting EU and national policy on renewable energy and climate change.
In 2007, the EIB's lending in Cyprus totalled EUR 120 million, mainly in the environment sector. Over the past ten years, EIB has provided a total of EUR 1.4 billion in Cyprus. Whilst the first loans were made in 1981, EIB activity in Cyprus increased significantly after 1997 in the run-up to full EU membership, and after the country's accession in 2004.
The EIB has established a long term relationship with the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and has been involved in the part-financing of most of the Authority's electricity generation and network development investments. This includes loans totalling EUR 200 million for the Vassilikos electricity power plant, the largest investment ever undertaken in Cyprus and the Bank's support for the upgrading of the electricity transmission and distribution network, for a total of EUR 130 million.
|EIB response to current economic situation as far as energy, climate change and infrastructure are concerned
||Annual EIB group support
||EIB group support 2009-2010
|(All amounts in EUR bn)
||2009 - 2010