>@2016 Maastricht UMC+
© 2016 Maastricht UMC+

The Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank, representing the bank’s 28 EU member state shareholders, as well as the European Commission, today approved EUR 9.4 billion of new financing for 56 projects across Europe and around the world.

This included more than EUR 2.8 billion of new loans for 19 projects backed by the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), as well as use of the guarantee for two projects already approved by the board. The EIB Board also agreed to provide more than EUR 750 million for investment in 8 projects outside Europe.

“In a difficult context of global turmoil and uncertainty in Europe, the EU’s Bank continues to provide targeted financing for real world, real economy projects. Almost daily we are called to respond to challenging, sometimes horrible events that test our resolve to promote and abide by our common values. It is important that we react promptly and wisely. It is also important that we maintain perspective and remain committed to long term investment. We need it to bring durable adjustments and adaptations of economies both within Europe and across the world, making them more resilient and bringing people hope for their future and that of the planet. That is what the EIB is about: delivering for the real economy and for the medium term,” said European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer. 

New EIB financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments EU budget guarantee included participation in a new equity fund to support private investment in Greece and backing for research and development of aircraft components and aero engines in France and Portugal. EFSI backed lending will also support investment in energy in Italy, Spain and the UK, in information technology in Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and social housing in Portugal and Poland.

Under the Investment Plan for Europe the EIB will also support investment to upgrade hospital facilities in Poland, implement heat and power plants in paper mills in France and the UK and smart meters in the UK. New energy, urban development and tourism investment in French overseas territories will also be financed by the EIB under the EFSI initiative.

The EIB Board approved EUR 2.9 billion of new financing to support investment by small business. SMEs will benefit from new lending programmes with local bank and partner institutions in Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania and Tunisia. This includes support for dedicated SME lending for agricultural investment in France, Germany and Romania, and for social impact in the Netherlands.

The Board approved more than EUR 4 billion of new financing for strategic infrastructure, including social housing in Germany and the UK, upgrading road links in northern Poland and northern Brazil, small scale infrastructure projects by French local authorities and in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, and expanding 4G mobile communications in Germany. The board also agreed to support water investment in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Tunisia.

More than EUR 1.1 billion of new support for investment in social and affordable housing was approved, including financing for social housing and temporary accommodation and reception centres for refugees across Germany through projects in Nord Rhine Westphalia, Munich and Brandenburg. New EIB lending will also support social housing in the Polish cities of Radom and Poznan, and by one of the largest housing associations in the UK.

In the area of sustainable and renewable energy, the EIB Board agreed to finance the extension of the Olkaria 1 Geothermal plant and rural electrification in Kenya. Financing for expansion of electricity distribution in the northern state of Bahia in Brazil was also approved.

This week’s EIB Board meeting follows the third meeting of the EFSI Investment Committee, held on 14th July. It approved 22 projects which the Investment Committee had cleared for financing under the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee from the EU Budget. Projects approved by the EFSI committee may be submitted to the next or future EIB Board meetings.

Negotiations for the approved loans are expected to be finalised in the coming months. All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EU budget guarantee, need to receive approval of the EIB Board prior to loan contracts being finalised. Loans and guarantees approved by the Board of Directors will be finalised in cooperation with promoters and beneficiaries, and figures may vary.