>@Mercedes Landete/EIB
©Mercedes Landete/EIB
  • The long-term loan with a two-year availability period is set to finance 75% of the energy efficiency investment plan outlined in the DORA 2017-2021
  • The Juncker Plan-supported agreement will enable the energy use and CO2 emissions of AENA's airports in Spain to be reduced
  • The EIB estimates that the project will help create 635 indirect jobs during the implementation phase

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Aena will be working together to improve the environmental impact of Spanish airports. Under the finance contract signed by EU bank Vice-President Emma Navarro and Aena Executive Director Maurici Lucena today in Madrid, the EIB will grant an EUR 86m loan to the company.

This contract was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe that makes it possible for the EIB to provide financing on favourable terms to support investments whose structure or nature means that they contribute to boosting economic growth and employment. In this case, the EIB-financed investments will facilitate the creation of 635 indirect jobs during the project's implementation phase.

The credit line will be available for use by Aena for the next two years and will enable it to finance 75% of the investments set to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy in Aena's network of 46 airports and two heliports across Spain. These investments are planned in the Spanish Airport Regulation Document (DORA) 2017-2021.

In concrete terms, the EIB's Juncker Plan financing will make it possible to replace airport lighting systems with low-energy alternatives, optimise thermal insulation in terminals and renovate ventilation systems and boilers. In addition, the creation of a solar photovoltaic plant for on-site use is planned in Madrid – generating 13 600 MWh of clean energy a year and avoiding the emission of 2 980 tonnes of CO2 – as is the installation of around 2 700 electric vehicle recharging points in the network's car parks. All of these improvements will help cut the CO2 emissions of Aena airports by 30% taking into account expected air traffic.

At the signing ceremony in Madrid, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro highlighted “the importance of this agreement for reducing the environmental impact of Spanish airports while simultaneously fostering economic growth and jobs. The investments the EIB is supporting with this financing are in line with one of our main priorities: climate action. This action brings real benefits for our economy, in this case by helping Aena airports – which welcomed over 263 million passengers last year – to access the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete commented: “This agreement once again demonstrates how the Juncker Plan is meeting our climate action objectives across the EU. It also shows that investing in energy efficiency measures is one of the fastest and most effective ways to achieve a low-carbon economy, while also creating new jobs and driving economic growth. I would also like to congratulate Spain for being one of the Juncker Plan's largest beneficiaries, with over EUR 46bn of additional investment mobilised.

Aena Executive Director Maurici Lucena emphasised that “environmental sustainability is one of the key objectives outlined in Aena's Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, and to this end the company is taking various actions to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint. This defines our plan to improve our energy efficiency and use of renewable energies over the next few years.

The EIB is Aena's main lender, and as the relationship between the two organisations is permanent, Aena shares its long-term investment plans with the EIB.