The Bank's growing role in renewable energy lending has gained recognition. Over the last year, the EIB has been awarded a number of prizes from several specialised publications. In particular, it scooped the title ‘Renewable Lender of the Year', awarded by Euromoney and Ernst & Young. The Bank was also voted ‘Best Finance House' for renewables in Europe by Environmental Finance Review and named the ‘Multilateral of the Year' by Project Finance International.
Five EIB-financed projects named ‘Deal of the Year'
Further prizes went to specific projects financed by the Bank. Among the ‘Deals of the Year 2009' awarded by Euromoney's Project Finance Magazine figure a total of five projects supported by the EIB. A Turkish wind farm project was named ‘European Onshore Wind Deal of the Year 2009'. The EUR 130m deal to which the EIB contributed with a EUR 30m loan was also backed by the EBRD and IFC - a first in terms of multilateral cooperation, as well as in terms of commercial lenders taking Turkish wind risk in the midst of the credit crunch. The 135MW wind farm in the Osmaniye province in eastern Turkey is expected to generate more than 302 675 tonnes of CO2 emission savings annually.
The Belgian offshore wind project Belwind won the award for ‘Best Power Deal of the Year'. According to Project Finance, "the financing has set a healthy benchmark for European offshore wind deals going forward." To date, the 165MW project is the largest offshore wind farm project containing construction risk and the first offshore wind deal to close amid the project finance market freeze. For the Bank it was also the first time it took offshore wind risk. Altogether the EIB provided nearly 50% of the liquidity, EUR 150m on project risk and EUR 150m guaranteed by the Danish Export Credit Agency for the expected total project cost of EUR 613.9m.
The Greater Manchester Waste financing took the title ‘European Waste Deal of the Year' for its outstanding size and complexity despite a cautious debt market. The GBP 3.8bn deal covers a waste and recycling contract, and the construction of a waste-to-energy thermal power plant, for which the EIB provided a GBP 100m loan. Lafarge Cement Syria was awarded ‘Middle East Industrial Deal of the Year' for a USD 340m financing deal to build a cement plant, supported by the Bank with a USD 155m loan. The GBP 1.3 billion deal for the expansion of the M25 London orbital motorway won the title ‘European PPP Deal of the Year'. Here, the EIB provided a GBP 215m counter-guarantee facility as well as a GBP 185m direct loan.
The Bank's borrowing takes Euroweek poll awards
The Bank's borrowing activities on the international money markets have not gone unnoticed either: in 2009 the EIB won the prizes for ‘Most Impressive Public Sector Issuer in Euros', ‘Most Impressive Public Sector Issuer in Yen' and ‘Most Impressive Public Sector Issuer in Swiss Francs', awarded by Euroweek. Another specialised publication, KangaNews, named the Bank ‘Issuer of the Year' as foreign issuer in Australian dollars.
The EIB's building with an award-winning track record to show off
Inaugurated in 2008, the Bank's new building has already collected a number of prizes for its unique characteristics. In 2009 alone, it was awarded the Prix Acier de la Ville de Luxembourg, took the Award of the Royal British Institute of Architects and the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture award for the building's outstanding architecture. It was also certified in line with the Code for Sustainable Buildings by BREEAM, assessing the building's environmental impact.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.