>@EIB/Västerås municipality

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a SEK 1.8 billion (EUR 200 million) long-term loan to finance small to medium-sized projects for upgrading municipal infrastructure in Västerås. Energy, mobility and housing schemes as well as schools, sports facilities, water and waste management will be supported by the EU’s bank as part of Västerås’s four-year investment programme, which runs from 2014 to 2017.

Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for lending in Sweden, stated: “Urban renewal and regeneration in the pursuit of more sustainable and competitive cities is a priority strategic objective of the EIB. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with the Municipality of Västerås as it will enable us to finance investments to cater for the needs of its growing population and promote long-term economic growth in the municipality and the region as a whole.”

Ulla Persson, Mayor of Västerås, declared: “We are very pleased to sign this loan contract with the EIB. The loan will help to secure the financing of the Västerås Group’s investments over the next few years. This is also a seal of approval since it is the EU’s bank that has provided the loan.”

The EIB loan will contribute to improving the social and environmental life conditions of Västerås’s residents as not only affordable housing will be constructed, but new cycle routes, parks and green spaces will also be created. The reconstruction or renovation of public buildings and affordable housing will also produce energy savings resulting from the insulation of walls and roofs, the replacement of windows and other energy efficiency measures. The traffic schemes – mainly the refurbishment of streets and modernisation of transport infrastructure – will reduce journey times and vehicle operating costs, thereby promoting more sustainable public transport. Lastly, investment in water, sewerage, wastewater treatment and waste management will help to preserve the local environment and reduce public health risks in Västerås.

This is the second EIB loan to Västerås after the EU bank’s support for the construction of a biomass-fired boiler at a combined heat and power plant in 2000. The EIB loan provides for diversification of the municipality’s long-term financing and extends the maturity profile of its debt.

In 2013 EIB financing in Sweden amounted to EUR 1.57 billion. The Bank’s lending in 2013 focused on projects promoting research, development and innovation (RDI) in the industrial sector as well as sustainable transport.