EIB approves pre-financing for Investment Plan projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) board approved more than € 8 billion of financing for loans for a total of 21 projects. These include four projects earmarked - subject to agreement by the European Commission - for support from an EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) once it is formally established. The approval was granted on 19 May 2015 and represents a key milestone prior to final negotiation of the loans, following the EIB's announcement of 22 April 2015 of the first projects to receive pre-financing, and in line with the European Council Conclusions of December 2014 which invited the EIB Group to "start activities by using its own funds as of January 2015".
The four projects earmarked for financing under EFSI deal with backing for energy efficiency investment to reduce heating bills of private homes in France; new renewable energy and related transmission links in northern and western Europe; reduction of industrial energy use in Finland; and improvement to gas transmission in Spain.
EIB Group President Werner Hoyer commented by saying that “The EIB Group is moving fast in rolling out the Investment Plan for Europe, as requested by Governments, the European Parliament, and the Commission when the Plan was launched. Investment in renewable energy and measures to cut energy bills are urgently needed. The projects approved by the EIB this week also reflect the EU Bank’s focus on climate action. EFSI will allow us to do more of the good work the EIB has done in the past unlocking investment needed to reduce energy use and cut emissions."
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, welcomed the EIB board's decision, as did European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for the Energy Union. “The Investment Plan for Europe and the Energy Union are a winning team: there are plenty of economically-viable projects in infrastructure, renewables, energy efficiency, research, innovation and transport. Today's decision of the EIB also shows that Energy Efficiency First is a principle worth investing in,” Mr. Šefčovič said.
Lending under the EFSI is expected to be backed by a core endowment of € 21 billion, comprising € 5 billion from the EIB and a € 16 billion guarantee from the EU. Negotiations on the EFSI between the co-legislators European Parliament and Council continue this week.
For more information:TOP