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Construction of a biomass-based combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Lahti, Finland. The plant will provide electricity to the national grid and heat to the municipal heating system ©To be defined

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed three new loan agreements with counterparts in Finland today. Totalling nearly EUR 400 million, the loans will support urban transport and education in the cities of Helsinki and Espoo as well as a combined-heat-and-power plant (CHP) in the City of Lahti.

Together with the City of Espoo a loan agreement of EUR 140 million was signed in support of the city’s education strategy, which will see the construction of four new pre-schools/day-care centres (one of which will be open 24/7) and three new comprehensive schools. Under the programme, the extension of three school campuses and the refurbishment of one comprehensive and one upper secondary school will also be carried out.

The second agreement signed today regards a EUR 180 million framework loan to finance the investment plan of the transport company of the City of Helsinki (HKL). Not only will new tram cars be procured, the scheme also includes the extension of existing tramlines and refurbishment of the network as a whole. A large portion of the financing will be dedicated to the newly produced “ARTIC” trams, specifically designed to deal with Helsinki’s harsh winter conditions.

Lastly, this afternoon a loan agreement worth EUR 75 million was signed with regional energy utility company Lahti Energia in central Finland for the deployment of a biomass-fired CHP plant. The new facility is set to replace the old “Kymijärvi I” coal-fired power plant by 2019 and will run on certified 100% renewable fuel. Features such as the recovery of condensation from the fuel and the recycling of ashes back into the forest as fertilizer will significantly reduce harmful emissions. Renewable energy is crucial for achieving common climate change goals and Lahti’s commitment contributes to that significantly.

“The agreements signed today are good examples of where the European Investment Bank can add value for local infrastructure, services and energy generation" said Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori, responsible for EIB operations in Finland. “The Bank has continued to invest in Finland over the last few years and we are glad that Finnish citizens will soon be able to find that the EIB’s activities have concrete benefits for their daily lives.”