>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 75 million to REN Redes Energéticas Nacionais SGPS, S.A. (REN) to support its 5-year investment programme (2009-2013) to extend and improve the Portuguese electricity transmission network. The finance contract was signed today in Lisbon by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and the CEO of REN, Rui Cartaxo. This is the second instalment of a EUR 150 million loan.

Vice-President Álvarez stressed that “with this loan, the EIB is supporting the modernisation of the energy sector, which will increase the efficiency of the electricity supply and help it to meet fast-growing demand, thus bringing very positive benefits for both consumers and producers.  The modernisation of the electrical transmission system will also help improve economic and social cohesion across Portuguese regions and within the European Union.“

The investment programme encompasses 52 projects to extend and improve the Portuguese electricity transmission network. It notably includes the installation of 708 km of new overhead lines and the upgrading of 130 km of existing overhead lines. The project is geographically dispersed throughout mainland Portugal and will be almost entirely (86%) implemented in areas designated as convergence regions.

This investment will enable the connection between, and efficient operation of, traditional and renewable generation resources, and improve the security of supply through the creation of enlarged internal and cross-border transmission capacity.

EIB and REN have a long-standing relationship, which started in 1994 with REN’s predecessor. The previous project financed by the EIB was signed in 2009: “REN Sistema Nacional de Gas Natural” for a total amount of EUR 150 million supporting the expansion of the natural gas import and transmission capacity.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank is the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), working to further European objectives. The Bank’s financing is geared to well-defined European 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.

REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais, SGPS, SA (“REN”), is the holding company of the REN group, which, in addition to electricity transmission, is responsible for the operation of the natural gas transmission system and the reception, storage and regasification of LNG as well as the transmission and underground of natural gas.