United Kingdom: Largest ever EIB loan provides GBP 1.5 billion for National Grid investment
7 November 2014
The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide GBP 1.5 billion (EUR 1.92 billion) for investment by National Grid plc across its national electricity transmission network. This new support for connecting new power generation, upgrade ageing assets and improve network resilience to climate and security risks represents the largest ever single loan made by Europe’s long-term lending institution. The new long-term loan will include capital investment by National Grid reinforcing infrastructure between the Wirral and Scotland, and the London Power Tunnels.
“Investment in the UK electricity transmission network is essential to prepare for future demand, connect new sources of renewable energy and upgrade old facilities. This agreement, the largest ever single loan to be provided by the European Investment Bank, reflects both the scale of energy investment needed and National Grid’s own experience in implementing such a diverse capital investment programme.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Malcolm Cooper, Global Tax and Treasury Director at National Grid highlighted that “the significant European Investment Bank loan will be used to fund infrastructure investment and build an electricity network for the future.”
The EIB backed programme will also include improvements to protect critical infrastructure from floods and providing substation capacity needed for new connections to offshore wind farms and new interconnectors to continental Europe.
Since 2009 the EIB has provided GBP 5.7 billion for investment in energy infrastructure, including electricity distribution, offshore transmission links, energy efficiency, interconnectors to the continent and wind farms such as London Array and West of Duddon Sands.
Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided nearly GBP 22 billion for investment in UK infrastructure including transport, social housing, hospital, water, schools and universities.
The EIB will invest €65 million in the modernisation of primary and secondary schools in Serbia to provide new digital equipment, connectivity, and capacity building training for 50 000 school teachers. The investment from the EU bank will support Serbia’s national education strategy, upgrade digital capacities in Serbian schools and contribute to economic and productivity growth, youth employability and the advancement of the country’s innovative capacity.
The EIB will provide €890 million to Adif Alta Velocidad to finance the high-speed rail line connecting Madrid and Extremadura. This will help see the European Atlantic Corridor through to completion and significantly improve the connection between Spain and Portugal. The project is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and will receive Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) support.
The EIB is the world’s largest provider of climate finance. As the bank of the European Union, it supports social housing and energy efficiency projects. The deal with SWSG (Stuttgarter Wohnungs- und Städtebaugesellschaft mbH), which is owned by the Stuttgart municipality, is the EIB’s first with a property company in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg.