The European Investment Bank (EIB) today reiterated its commitment and enhanced support for Ireland during the economic crisis at the start of an official visit to the country by the European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Ireland. The EIB will continue to focus on projects in the transport, energy and education sectors, alongside reinforced support for Irish SMEs in close cooperation with local banks.

Last year the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by the 27 member states, provided EUR 1.02 billion for six operations, the highest level ever achieved in Ireland. This was more than double the EUR 450 million level achieved in 2008. 2009 year also saw record lending for energy projects in Ireland, with engagements of EUR 500 million.

Speaking at the start of the visit European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Ireland, Plutarchos Sakellaris said: “The European Investment Bank invested over EUR 1 billion in Ireland, a record level of support for projects in the country. We wish enhance the successful cooperation with public bodies, leading companies and SMEs in Ireland to ensure that key capital investment continues during challenging difficult times. We are confident that industry, transport, social infrastructure, health and education will continue to benefit from EIB support in coming years.”

Recent EIB energy funding has reinforced renewable energy, energy efficiency and security of supply projects. This included EUR 300m for the EIRGRID East West Interconnector and EUR 200m for wind farms under ESB’s Renewable Programme.  EUR 300m was provided to Dublin Airport for the new terminal.

Small and medium sized companies are key for employment, innovation and economic growth. In 2009 the EIB made EUR 260 million available to Irish SMEs through credit lines with Allied Irish, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

The EIB Delegation will be meeting Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Patrick Honohan, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, the Financial Services Regulatory authority and other officials and business leaders to see how the EIB can best support Ireland and ensure continued investment in key infrastructure during challenging times.

Notes for Editors:

  • Globally in 2009, the EIB signed loans for EUR 79.1 billion in support of investment in the modernisation of the economies of EU Member States (EUR 70.5 billion)and EU partner countries (EUR 8.6 billion).
  • In response to the current financial and economic crisis and at the request of the European Finance Ministers Council (EIB Governors), the Bank increased lending by almost 40% over 2007 levels. A special focus is being given to increased support for SMEs and convergence regions particularly hard hit, as well as for a package of energy, climate change and the automotive and other transport investment aimed at reducing emissions.
  • The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union.  The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States.  The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives.  The EIB operates on a non-profit maximizing basis and lends at close to the cost of borrowing.  The Bank’s consistent AAA rating is underpinned by firm shareholder support, a strong capital base, exceptional asset quality, conservative risk management and a sound funding strategy.

EIB funding approved for Ireland over last 5 years (EUR million)














 European Investment loans in the Irish Republic in 2009


  EUR Million


EIRGRID East-West Interconnector

East West Interconnector project consists of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable link between Ireland and Great Britain


ESB Renewable Programme

The project concerns the ESB's wind investment programme for the period 2009 to 2012. The overall capacity will be 214MW. All development will be on-shore operations



Dublin Airport Terminal 2

Construction of a new terminal building, connecting pier, aircraft parking stands and taxiways, and roads at Dublin Airport.  


SME Credit Lines

Financing of small and medium-scale projects carried out by SME's in Ireland

Allied Irish Bank

Bank of Ireland

Ulster Bank





              1 020

Breakdown by broad sectors

2009 2005-2009


EUR million

EUR million



          1 178




Water, Waste



Industry, services



Education, health



SME credit





          2 820