>@Mercedes Landete/EIB

  • Agreement will enable the company to innovate and implement the latest technologies to use more sustainable processes in its activities

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is helping Spanish multinational Acciona to develop its innovation and digitalisation activities with a EUR 100 million loan. The agreement signed today by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and Acciona’s Chief Financial Officer, Carlos Arilla, is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main plank of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe , dubbed the “Juncker Plan”.

The EIB funding will enable Acciona to undertake a range of investments in strategic sectors for the company, such as renewable energy, infrastructure and water treatment. These activities will be carried out at Acciona’s technological research centres in Madrid, Pamplona and Barcelona. The digitalisation investments will be made across the company’s different business lines.

With this loan, the EIB is helping to support the European Union's climate action and renewable energy development priorities. Specifically, Acciona’s innovation and digitalisation programme will enable the application of new technologies to optimise the construction, operation and remote control of its electricity generation plants. In the water sector, the company will be able to implement more sustainable biological water treatment, desalination and purification processes. Acciona will also bring innovations to its infrastructure construction technologies, increasing the recycling of waste materials to strengthen the circular economy.

Thanks to the support of the Investment Plan for Europe, Acciona will dispose of the long-term financing necessary to ensure the implementation of the project. The Juncker Plan guarantee enables the EIB to provide funding to support investments helping to boost growth and job creation.

At the signing ceremony, the EIB Vice-President stressed “the EIB’s satisfaction at being able to make a meaningful contribution to the achievement of the European Union’s policies in areas as varied as employment, innovation and climate action. All of these EU priorities feature in this agreement with Acciona”.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “This investment under the Juncker Plan clearly demonstrates that Europe wants to remain in the vanguard of the fight against climate change. This loan will not only give a boost to the energy transition in Spain and help us to achieve our climate objectives for 2030, but will also support other key priorities of the European Union like job creation, sustainable economic growth, and the improvement of the health of our citizens and the competitiveness of our enterprises.  The energy transition means above all that energy and digitalisation must go hand in hand. The last few years have seen a spectacular reduction in the cost of renewable energy, but we have to carry on innovating and investing in it to maintain our leadership and ensure that it secures its place as the energy of the future”.

Carlos Arilla, Acciona’s Chief Financial Officer, said when signing the agreement that “the commitment of Acciona and the private sector to combat climate change is undoubtedly a factor of economic growth”, adding that “the institutional and financial support of institutions like the EIB are key to developing mechanisms and incentives that will help to mitigate global warming”.

Arantza Ezpeleta, Acciona’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, said during the signing ceremony: “This loan will enable us to simultaneously boost digitalisation and innovation in advanced technologies for application in Acciona’s business in order to gain competitive advantages in the areas of sustainable infrastructure and clean power generation.”

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. EFSI has already yielded tangible results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than EUR 256 billion in investment and support almost 539,000 SMEs in the 28 Member States.

More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.