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    Reference: 20200924
    Release date: 22 November 2021

    Promoter – Financial Intermediary




    Financing the implementation of 12 small run-of-river hydroelectric plants and the restoration of 13 weirs along the Arno river, to control the river flow, restore hydraulic defences and protect biodiversity.

    Additionality and Impact

    The operation focuses on the implementation of 12 small run-of-river hydroelectric plants and the restoration of 13 weirs along the Arno river, to control the river flow, restore hydraulic defenses and protect biodiversity.

    The EIB investment in the project will support the deployment of new renewable Hydropower energy capacity in Italy, crucial for the achievement of the 2030 targets set out in the final National Energy and Climate Plan.

    This operation addresses the market failures that limit the access to finance of small renewable energy projects, despite the pivotal role they play in contributing to EU energy policy objectives and in the decarbonization strategy to achieve Paris goals. In addition, the investments are expected to generate positive externalities (enhanced biodiversity, flood management), and increase public goods for society (by improving public health) and increased resilience to climate change, which are not effectively reflected in market prices.

    Overall, the project is expected to yield good quality and results, due to the wider benefits to society the project promotes. The implementation and operation of the project is supported by adequate governance and capabilities of the promoter.

    EIB's innovative developer financing leverages the parent company strength to provide financing to early-stage development projects. This operation will free-up the developer's headroom with domestic financial institutions for lending to other pipeline projects, accelerating project development across the portfolio.


    Financing for a portfolio of mini hydro power plants along the Arno river in Italy.


    • Energy - Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)

    EUR 49 million

    Total cost (Approximate amount)

    EUR 65 million

    Environmental aspects

    The operation is expected to have net positive environmental and social impacts, considering their focus on river control and restoration of hydraulic defenses and compliance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC. The project will support renewable energy investments that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and other airborne pollutants. The small hydro power plants have already received environmental permits by the competent authority in line with the EU Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU. The sub-schemes will be further assessed during appraisal. The Bank will assess and if needed will reinforce the Promoter's capacity to appraise sub-schemes for compliance with national regulations and EU environmental and biodiversity requirements as well as its capacity to support the Bank's Public Disclosure Policy, which aims at facilitating access by the public to environmentally relevant information.


    The Promoter has been assessed by the EIB as a private company not subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions. However, if after the project appraisal, the EIB were to conclude that the Promoter is after all subject to EU public procurement legislation (2014/25/EU), then the Bank would require the Promoter to ensure that contracts for the implementation of the Project will be tendered in accordance with the relevant applicable EU procurement legislation 2014/25/EU as well as Directive 92/13/EEC as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union, with the publication of tender notices in the Official Journal of the European Union, as and where required.


    Signed - 12/11/2021


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).

    Related tags

    Italy Energy