The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Iberdrola SA a EUR 300 million loan to finance the expansion of three of the company’s hydropower plants in Galicia and Valencia. EIB Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa and the chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, signed the finance contract in Madrid today.

The EIB Vice-President stressed that “in line with EU energy policy, the EIB supports projects meeting the threefold objective of increasing energy efficiency, improving the security of supply and fostering cleaner energy. Renewable energy projects like this play a key role in the European energy mix by gradually replacing more polluting and less efficient carbon-intensive technologies.”

The EIB loan will help to finance the expansion of the San Esteban II and San Pedro II hydropower plants on the Sil river (Galicia) and the La Muela II reversible plant in the province of Valencia. The schemes are designed to increase the plants’ generating capacity by more than 1 GW and La Muela II’s pumping capacity by 750 MW. They do not involve any expansion of the dams or connecting lines. The project will increase the proportion of Spain’s power generation from renewable sources. Iberdrola currently has around 10 000 MW of installed hydropower generation capacity, accounting for nearly 25% of the company’s total.

The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s long-term financing institution working to achieve the EU’s objectives. Founded in 1958, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries around the globe.

As part of the EU’s strategy of fostering sustainable, competitive and secure energy, the EIB gives priority to financing projects aimed at energy efficiency and the diversification and security of the internal energy supply as well as investment in renewable energies, energy RDI and external energy security.