• EIB Group signed new financing of €1.26 billion for projects in Austria last year
  • Focus of EU Bank’s operations on financing renewable energy and affordable housing projects
  • Multiple joint projects with banks secure financing for small and medium-sized enterprises

In 2023, the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group in Austria has focused its financing on projects that support renewable energies, water-supply and social housing. With the release of its annual results, the EU-Bank announces today that it committed €1.26 billion in new financing in Austria. In the current economic environment, with higher interest rates, companies both private and public turned to the EIB for supporting long term investments, especially toward the end of 2023.

In the first quarters of 2023, against the backdrop of a mild recession in the country, companies generally behaved cautiously towards investments, as our new EIB Investment Survey shows, being released today as well. However, many Austrian companies see the development of stricter climate standards as an opportunity rather than a concern for their businesses. And the share of those who see climate regulation as an opportunity is higher than on average in the EU.

EIB projects in 2023 in Austria had a focus on infrastructure: The EU Bank invested into water infrastructure, for example into the water supply-system in Burgenland, and into renewable energy. We provided a loan of €67 million to a new onshore windfarm in Engelhartstetten in Lower Austria. Another €110 million loan was granted to energy utility EVN AG for the deployment of 103 MW of wind energy. More loans for renewable energy projects are foreseen to be signed in 2024. 

“In Austria, we are seeing a growing interest in projects that contribute to the green transformation of the economy,” says EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who oversees the Bank’s business in Austria. “We will continue to invest in climate action in the coming years too.”

In Vienna, the EIB continues to invest in public-private partnerships to build new schools that incorporate innovative educational concepts. The buildings also meet high environmental standards. For affordable housing projects, the EIB in 2023 signed a second, €75 million loan, contract with Erste Bank and a transaction with Hypo NOE for €135 million.

In Austria, the EIB Group in 2023 mainly financed projects in the category “sustainable cities and regions”, with €451 million, followed by “sustainable energy and natural resources” investments with €363 million. Investments into “innovation, digital and human capital” investments reached 314 million, and SME-financing accounted for €135 million in 2023.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy objectives. EIB projects bolster competitiveness, drive innovation, promote sustainable development, enhance social and territorial cohesion, and support a just and swift transition to climate neutrality. The EIB Group, which also includes the European Investment Fund (EIF), signed a total of €88 billion in new financing for over 900 projects in 2023. These commitments are expected to mobilise around €320 billion in investment, supporting 400,000 companies and 5.4 million jobs.

All projects financed by the EIB Group are in line with the Paris Climate Accord. The EIB Group does not fund investments in fossil-fuels. We are on track to deliver on our commitment to support  €1 trillion in climate and environmental sustainability investment in the decade to 2030 as pledged in our Climate Bank Roadmap. Over half of the EIB Group’s annual financing supports projects directly contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and a healthier environment. Approximately half of the EIB's financing within the EU is directed towards cohesion regions, where per capita income is lower. This underscores the Bank's commitment to fostering inclusive growth and the convergence of living standards.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability and more.

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 investments for the European Union’s policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU programme 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 that 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.