>@EIB/To be defined

  • SaarLB gains leeway for new renewable energy lending  
  • EFSI enables EU bank to share risk

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Landesbank Saar (SaarLB) have signed today in Luxembourg a EUR 100 million guarantee agreement giving SaarLB further scope to invest in the renewable energy sector. The agreement provides for the EU bank to cover up to 50% of the risk on up to ten existing SaarLB loans for wind and solar projects in France. This partial offloading of the risk will facilitate SaarLB to make available nearly EUR 200 million worth of additional loans for renewable energy projects. These new loans – also for wind and photovoltaic projects in France and Germany –do not come under the guarantee agreement.

The EIB is able to take part of the risk on SaarLB’s loans because it is itself partially covered by guarantees of the “European Fund for Strategic Investments” (EFSI). This is the first time that EFSI guarantees have been used for this type of risk sharing. EFSI is part of the Investment Plan for Europe, with which the EU hopes to mobilise an additional EUR 315 billion of investment over three years.

Speaking in Luxembourg, the EIB Vice-President with responsibility for operations in France and Germany, Ambroise Fayolle, said: “We have for many years been working very closely and constructively with SaarLB to put together loans in the renewable energies field. Climate action and ensuring a sustainable and competitive energy supply are top priorities of the EU bank’s activity. The European Fund for Strategic Investments and the use of innovative new risk-sharing instruments like today’s increase the capacity of, and incentives for, banks to make additional loans in favour of targeted projects, here in the renewable energies sector.”

SaarLB director Frank Eloy added: “We have long been financing renewable energy projects in German and France as they contribute to structural change and preparation for the future in both countries. And at the same time they form an important part of our SME-focused business model. We are therefore delighted that the EIB guarantee is increasing our scope for additional lending and that we are building on our excellent long-term cooperation with the EIB.”

The European Commission Vice-President responsible for the energy union, Maroš Šefčovič, said: "The energy transition will only succeed in Europe if we think beyond national borders and work together. SaarLB is doing precisely that by financing renewable energies in Germany and France. I am pleased that the European Union is able to contribute to this through the EIB and the so-called Juncker Plan."