The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Gas Natural Fenosa a EUR 475 million loan for upgrading its power grid and installing meters. EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and Gas Natural Fenosa’s CEO, Rafael Villaseca, signed the finance contract for the first EUR 250 million instalment of this loan in Madrid this morning.

With this loan the EIB is supporting the company’s four-year programme of investment in upgrading and expanding the overhead distribution network, laying underground cables and building low to high voltage substations. The project will also include the installation of new three-phase meters in compliance with new legislation.

The investments will help to improve the safety and reliability of the distribution network while connecting new supply points.

The schemes financed will be spread across the four Spanish regions of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Galicia, and it is estimated that 73% of the investment will be carried out in convergence regions.

The investments financed meet the EIB and EU’s priority objective of fostering economic and social cohesion and will help to enable the achievement of a secure and competitive energy supply – essential to the smooth functioning of the productive fabric.

In 2012, the EIB provided finance totalling more than EUR 52 billion, including EUR 8.083 billion in Spain, making the country the biggest recipient of EIB funds for the ninth year running.