The European Investment Bank has signed a EUR 200 million loan with Urenco Ltd for the expansion of two uranium enrichment plants based in the UK and the Netherlands. This project forms part of the company’s medium-term investment programme, meeting global uranium enrichment demand by the use of Urenco’s world-leading energy-efficient technology.
The project comprises the installation of new centrifuge cascades in both plants. A full Environmental Impact Assessment, in line with European Union directives, has been carried out and Urenco adheres to all safeguards set by Euratom, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other public agencies controlling the highly regulated nuclear fuel cycle.
EIB support for EU Energy Policy
Sustainable, competitive and secure energy was made a specific priority objective for EIB financing as of 2007. In March 2007, the Brussels European Council adopted an Action Plan for EU energy policy based on Commission proposals. The European Council confirmed that each Member State must make its own decision on whether or not to integrate nuclear into the country’s energy mix. In June 2007, the EIB Board of Governors endorsed the document Clean Energy for Europe: a reinforced EIB contribution.
The EIB’s loan to the Urenco expansion project is in line with the EU energy policy, seeking diversification of secure energy sources. As outlined in the recent briefing EIB and financing of nuclear energy, the Bank funds only those projects which have received a favourable opinion from the European Commission and the Member State concerned. As with all investments undertaken, nuclear projects must be technically, economically, financially and environmentally viable and comply with EU and national law.