The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a EUR 50 million loan for expanding the Port of Las Palmas on the Canary Islands. Representatives of the Bank and the Las Palmas Port Authority signed the finance contract this morning.

The loan will help to finance the seaward expansion of the Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, including the construction of a new breakwater – dubbed the “Sphinx” – and the creation of new terminal areas for ro-ro ferry traffic and logistics. All components of the project are scheduled for completion by the end of 2013 so that the new terminal areas can enter into service in early 2014.

The project will increase the capacity of the Port of Las Palmas – the island of Gran Canaria’s main port and a key element of the trans-European transport network (TEN) – so that it can cater for projected container and passenger traffic. It will also contribute to boosting competitiveness and employment in the region.

The EIB is the EU’s long-term financing institution promoting European objectives. Created in 1958, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 countries worldwide. EIB financing operations are mounted in the framework of well defined EU policies. The trans-European transport networks (TENs) are an EU priority because of their key role in fostering the Union’s economic and social integration, the free movement of people and goods and the development of Europe’s disadvantaged regions.