The EU bank is lending €3 million to Österreichische Bundesforste for four wind turbines.
Austria aims to cover 100% of its electricity consumption using renewable energy sources by 2030.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a loan to Österreichische Bundesforste AG to finance the construction and operation of four additional wind turbines to extend the capacity of the Pretul wind farm in the Austrian state of Styria. The overall project cost is estimated at €21 million.
The EIB has supported the Pretul wind farm from the very beginning, with an initial loan of €36.7 million to Österreichische Bundesforste granted in 2015 for the construction of a 42 MW wind farm consisting of 14 wind turbines with an output of 3 MW each, plus a 7 km line connecting them to an existing electricity substation. This wind farm has been in operation since 2017.
The four new wind turbines will add capacity of 16.6 MW to the wind farm, which is located at the top of a mountain ridge near Pretulalpe at an altitude of about 1 600 metres above sea level. Given the Alpine location, the project will be one of the first in Austria to use the latest turbine model designed for a cold climate.
The EIB financing will be provided in conjunction with the Austrian commercial bank Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich (RLB OÖ).
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros said: “The additional wind turbines will increase electricity generation using renewable resources and help reduce carbon emissions and pollution compared to using fossil fuels. We are therefore proud to be part of this climate-friendly project.”
“Especially in times like these, as a nature conservation enterprise we are committed to expanding the generation of renewable energy on our land in a way that is both sustainable and ecologically compatible, and thus to making a contribution to the energy turnaround in our country,” added Executive Director of Österreichische Bundesforste AG Georg Schöppl.
The EIB’s activities focus on the following priority areas: climate and environment, development, innovation and skills, small and medium-sized businesses, infrastructure and cohesion. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to foster European integration, promote the development of the European Union and support EU policies in over 140 countries around the world.
Österreichische Bundesforste AG is Austria’s nature conservation company. It cares for, protects and manages the country’s natural resources — forests, lakes and mountains — following the principle of sustainability. Österreichische Bundesforste AG is the largest entity managing natural space in Austria, as it is responsible for 850 000 hectares. 10% of Austria’s territory, including 74 of the larger lakes, and 15% of its forest area, is managed by ÖBf. In economic terms, the company has operations in the business areas of forestry and the timber industry, hunting and fisheries, real estate, services and renewable energy. Everything the company does is based on sustainability as a guiding principle. Social interests and ecological and economic awareness are continually being evaluated and balanced in the best way possible. Österreichische Bundesforste AG is tackling the challenges of climate change by actively managing forests in line with its motto, “Forest of the Future”. After all, forests that are sustainably managed will be in the best position to meet ecological and social demands in the future. ÖBf AG is wholly owned by the Republic of Austria.
Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich Aktiengesellschaft (RLB OÖ) is the fifth largest bank in Austria with a balance sheet exceeding €50 billion. As a bank for corporate customers throughout Austria and across southern Germany, RLB OÖ supports companies with a comprehensive range of banking services. As a special service, RLB OÖ provides equity for company successions and acquisitions as well as partner capital to strengthen the equity base for rapidly expanding companies.
The EIB is lending EUR 36.7 million to Österreichische Bundesforste AG (ÖBf AG) to finance the construction of a wind farm in Styria (southern Austria) that will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions. This will be the first direct EIB loan to support electricity generation from wind in Austria. It will help to meet the Austrian government’s target of building 2 000 MW of additional wind capacity between 2010 and 2020.
The EIB is providing a €100 million global loan to Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich (RLB OÖ). “We want to use these funds to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) invest, focusing particularly on climate action and innovation projects and on sustainability. Despite the current COVID-19 situation, we must not lose sight of the future – sustainability is therefore playing an increasingly important role for us,” said Heinrich Schaller, CEO of RLB OÖ. A portion of the funds will also go towards promoting investments in companies with female leaders. The idea behind this comes from an EU pilot project in the banking sector that aims to enhance women’s participation in management.
Austria’s Burgenland region is stepping up the development of renewable energies. Three new wind farms with a total capacity of 198 MW will become operational by 2013. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is granting a EUR 200 million to Burgenländische Elektrizitätswirtschaft AG (BEWAG) to finance the project alongside Austria’s UniCredit Leasing.