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The European Investment Bank today approved financing for investment by small business totalling more than EUR 6.1 billion and a record level of new financing under the Investment Plan for Europe initiative. The EIB’s Board of Directors approved more than EUR 15 billion of new lending agreed for projects across Europe and around the world.

Building on the EIB’s global climate action engagement
“World leaders and international financial institutions are in Marrakesh to implement the Paris climate agreement. Unlocking new climate related investment is now truly recognised as a global goal. The momentum takes the issue beyond the policy of any government and beyond the public sector. The EIB is the largest single source of climate action lending in the world, and we remain committed to making a difference to climate investment on a global scale” said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.

The EIB board approved more than EUR 3 billion of new climate related investment including scaling up use of floating windfarms off the Portuguese coast, helping Czech companies to improve energy efficiency, mitigating flood risks in Italy, supporting small scale renewables in Turkey and large scale solar power plants in India, as well as improving efficient water use in drought stricken Malawi. New projects will also support climate change mitigation investment in Brazil and small scale energy efficiency improvements in North Africa and the Middle East.

Over the past five years the EIB provided over EUR 90bn in financing for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Europe and across the world.

Record EIB lending under the Investment Plan for Europe
The EIB approved new lending for a total of 21 schemes supported by the EU budget guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe, for a total of over EUR 4.5 billion of new financing.

These included lending for SMEs through local banks, support for corporate research and development, improved energy infrastructure, and expansion of broadband internet networks. Financing under the Investment Plan for Europe approved today will support public and private investment in 17 European countries.

“The Investment Plan for Europe is what we need to put money to work and relaunch investment. The EIB Group is doing its part: we have delivered financing capable of mobilising almost half the Plan’s target of EUR 315 billion in three years. The Plan allows the Bank to fund an unprecedented number of higher risk projects, projects that would not be financed to the same extent or at the same speed if it weren’t for this Investment Plan. It is a new initiative, and we constantly work at improving it. But there is no doubt that we are moving in the right direction”, said President Hoyer. He added, “Financing is only one element of the plan, and the whole will not work if all the parts don’t. That is why we need to put as much effort in improving the regulatory context for investment as in financing and advising project promoters. We are fully committed to contributing to this effort in support of the Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament.”

Helping companies across Europe expand – including EUR 1.25 billion in Greece
The EIB approved more than EUR 6.1 billion of new lending for credit lines and financing of smaller scale private sector projects.  This included new lending programmes in partnership with banks in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Finland, Italy, Poland and Austria, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan and sub-Saharan Africa. 

New lending totalling EUR 1.25 billion to support investment by agriculture, food, tourism and industrial companies in Greece was also approved.

Strengthening local education and improving world-class research
The EU’s Bank approved support for construction of a new multi-discipline research facility at the world’s most powerful neutron source in Lund, Sweden.

New financing including development of imaging science and connected homes, very large steam turbines, energy efficient production of electric cars and cleaner manufacturing of wood products were amongst schemes for direct corporate lending backed by the EIB board.

Recognising the crucial need to upgrade and adapt education facilities for modern demand the EIB board also approved new support for school investment in the Netherlands, primary and secondary and higher education in Paris, in French language schools in Belgium, a business school in Portugal and the University of Bristol, as well as 21 technical institutes across Ecuador.

The EIB approved schemes to support research and innovation by companies in the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherland.

Improving global water, energy, transport and social infrastructure
The EIB Board approved financing for road projects in Bosnia, Bolivia and Tunisia as well as financing electrification and modernization of two key railways in Ukraine.

Better energy management will be made possible by funding for the roll out of smart meters in Italy, France and Greece. New loans in the UK energy sector will improve security of energy supply.

Projects in the field of water included waste water treatment in Bucharest and Nicosia, as well as the Pacific island of Fiji and the Zambian capital Lusaka.

The EIB also agreed support for new social investment to upgrade the main hospital in the Belgian city of Ghent and energy-efficient social housing in the Netherlands.

The board meeting included representatives of the bank’s 28 EU member state shareholders, as well as the European Commission. This week’s EIB board meeting follows a meeting of the EFSI Investment Committee, held on 10 November. It approved 19 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.

Overview of projects approved by the EIB Board 

Overview of projects approved by the EIB Board of Directors following positive assessment by the EFSI Investment Committee