The European Investment Bank announces a EUR 200 million loan to Spain’s national grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE) to finance its 2009-2011 investment programme. The finance contract was signed this morning in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza, and the Chairman of REE, Luis Atienza Serna. The EIB will provide a total of EUR 600 million for this project.

In the words of the EIB Vice-President: “With this loan, the European Investment Bank is helping to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the power supply in Spain and tailor the configuration of electricity infrastructure to current needs, including a growing share of renewables. The schemes included in this programme are priority operations for the European Investment Bank and are considered to be objectives of common interest within Europe’s power grids (TEN-energy).”

The EIB loan will support REE’s three-year (2009-2011) investment programme to upgrade and extend Spain’s electricity transmission network. The project’s main goal is to cater for the growth in demand in certain parts of the system, including the power supply for high-speed rail infrastructure. It will also enable efficiency gains in the supply of both traditional and renewable energy sources. Some schemes will also serve to improve the reliability of supply for isolated insular systems.

The schemes financed will be spread throughout Spain, with over half of them in convergence regions. They will foster the connection and efficient use of traditional and renewable energy sources and improve the security of supply through the creation of additional capacity.

The main investments supported by the loan are:

  • The Rómulo project, which will connect the substations at Morvedre (Sagunto) and Santa Ponsa (Mallorca) with a 244km-long submarine HVDC cable in order to meet the increase in demand and improve the quality and reliability of the power supply in the Balearic Islands.
  • The replacement of the existing 220kV Trives-Tordesillas transmission line with a 400kV double circuit line to carry wind power from Galicia and Zamora to central Spain.
  • The installation of the new 400kV Tordesillas-San Sebastián de los Reyes corridor designed to increase transmission capacity between Galicia/Castilla-León and Madrid in order to cater for the expected increase in demand in the greater Madrid area, supply high-speed rail infrastructure and improve the meshing of the power grid.
  • The upgrading of Andalusia’s Arcos-Cabra transmission corridor to carry wind power from Estrecho and the coastal mountains of Málaga and electricity from the combined cycle plants in Cádiz and Málaga to supply the Córdoba-Málaga high-speed train line.
  • The general upgrading of the three main sub-systems in the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote-Fuerteventura) to meet the increase in demand, improve the reliability of the supply and accommodate the expected growth in wind power on the islands.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) 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. Its financing operations are mounted in the framework of well-defined EU policies. As part of the EU’s strategy of fostering sustainable, competitive and secure energy, the EIB gives priority to financing investment in renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy RDI, the diversification and security of the internal energy supply (including the trans-European energy networks) and external energy security.