• These EIB-financed R&D activities will promote the digitalisation of electricity grids and an improved integration of renewable energy in the electric system.
  • Ormazabal will also develop new equipment for supporting electric mobility.
  • The EIB loan is backed by the European Union’s new InvestEU programme.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €40 million loan with Ormazabal which will contribute for the Basque industrial firm developing its investment plan for R&D activities in Spain over the next four years. The agreement is supported by InvestEU, which provides an EU budgetary guarantee to implementing partners to increase their risk-taking capacity and therefore contributes to mobilising public and private investment for the EU's policy priorities.

Based in the Zamudio Technology Park (Vizcaya, Basque Country) and present in more than 50 countries, Ormazabal is one of the leading technologic solutions and equipment provider for the electricity distribution sector. The investment plan will boost the innovation capabilities of Ormazabal, which has around 300 registered patents. The EIB financing will contribute to strengthening the company’s competitiveness by consolidating its innovative profile and future growth.

Innovation supporting the energy system of the future

The EIB’s support to Ormazabal’s R&D project will have a positive environmental impact, helping to achieve EU’s energy system decarbonisation targets. The EIB will finance R&D activities aiming at enabling electricity distribution networks to adapt to an appropriate renewable energy mix, as well as to electrify mobility. The investments will enable Ormazabal to develop new strategic products with the purpose of meeting new requirements linked to the integration of renewable energy into the grid and to accommodate upcoming regulatory changes designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the Climate Bank, the EIB will support the company in the implementation of its sustainability roadmap, which aims to increase its energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of its products.

EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix highlighted: This operation with Ormazabal demonstrates the EIB’s strong commitment to investment in innovation and digitalisation, as well as to environmental sustainability. We are pleased to be backing this innovative company’s R&D activities in Spain to improve the efficiency of electricity grids and better integrate renewable energy — the solution for a secure energy supply and the decarbonisation of EU economies.

Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy said: “This agreement demonstrates the important role InvestEU is playing in securing Europe’s green and digital transitions. Developing the transition infrastructure needed to digitalise and decarbonise our economies requires significant and sustained investment. InvestEU is helping to harness this investment and providing businesses with access to the finance they need to innovate, expand and create new jobs.”

Chief Executive Officer of Ormazabal Jorge González Somavilla emphasised: Ormazabal’s commitment to supporting its customers in the energy transition is part of its continuous pursuit of technological innovation. Preparing power grids for a decarbonised and decentralised energy mix, as well as transport electrification, requires a greater incorporation of monitoring and automation solutions for electrical equipment. Maintaining a leading role in technological innovation requires continuously increasing financial allocations to R&D each year. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to benefit again from the support of the EIB to our technological and financial strategy.

The EIB Group is stepping up its clean energy financing to support the REPowerEU plan unveiled by the European Commission in May this year. The EIB’s financing to Ormazabal is in line with the objectives of this plan as it supports a supplier of equipment and solutions to EU energy companies.

The InvestEU programme supporting this loan builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan, under which the EIB and Ormazabal signed their first loan agreement in 2018.

Background information:

EIB and energy security

Over the past decade, the European Investment Bank Group has channelled almost €100 billion into the EU energy sector. These timely investments are now helping Europe weather the crisis triggered by the abrupt cut in Russian gas supplies. In the first nine months of this year alone, the EIB signed financial support totalling more than €8.3 billion for projects in energy efficiency, renewables, electricity and storage in the European Union, thus helping strengthen the resilience of the European economy.

In October, the EIB’s Board decided to raise the Group’s clean energy financing volumes to unprecedented levels in support of the REPowerEU objective of ending Europe’s dependency on Russian fossil-fuel imports. An additional €30 billion will be invested over the next five years, on top of the EIB’s already robust support for the EU energy sector. It is estimated that the REPowerEU package will mobilise an additional €115 billion in investment by 2027, thus making a substantial contribution to Europe’s energy independence and the EIB Group’s target of mobilising €1 trillion this decade in climate financing.

Find out more about the EIB’s energy support here and the latest energy projects we financed here.

About the InvestEU Programme

The InvestEU Programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investment for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

About Ormazabal

Part of the Velatia group, Ormazabal is an expert in customised and hight-tech electrical solutions, which has been accumulating knowledge of the electrical grid for over than 55 years. Its solutions aim at digitalizing the electricity grid to integrate more renewable energy, enable more sustainable mobility and guarantee the power supply to buildings and infrastructure with critical energy needs.

Its continuous commitment to technological and industrial innovation has enabled it to market its technology worldwide and to expand internationally. It currently has 16 industrial plants worldwide and is present in more than 50 countries through subsidiaries and distributors. Employing over 2 400 highly qualified professionals, its annual turnover is more than €550 million.

In response to the urgent challenge of decarbonising the economy, it intends to lead the technological evolution of electrical networks, enabling the energy transition.