Juncker fund “pre-financing” investments announced

21 May 2015 | News
As the row over where the money for the European Fund for Strategic Investment is to come from rumbles on, the EIB announces loans for four renewable energy and strategic infrastructure projects, earmarking them for backing from the Juncker fund

New investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and strategic energy infrastructure, are among the more than €8 billion of loans approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB) this week.

The EIB approved loans for 21 projects, including four projects earmarked for support from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) once it is formally established.

“The EIB Group is moving fast in rolling out the Investment Plan for Europe, as requested by governments, the European Parliament, and the Commission,” said Werner Hoyer, EIB President. The projects reflect the EIB’s focus on climate action and EFSI will allow the bank to do more in unlocking investment needed to reduce energy use and cut emissions, Hoyer said.

The four projects earmarked for financing under EFSI include 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 improvements to gas transmission in Spain.

The French project will enable renovation work to cut energy bills in more than 40,000 homes, according to the EIB

Backing for energy investment across northern and western Europe, through equity participation in a specialised fund, will support investment in a range of energy schemes, including construction of new offshore wind farms, biomass facilities, and energy transmission links that will help cut carbon emissions and create thousands of jobs.

The financing approved by EIB for a new large scale pulp mill in Finland will allow the plant to be self-sufficient, using renewable energy.

Investment in the Spanish gas distribution network will for the first time give consumers in some areas the choice of using natural gas, a cleaner and cheaper alternative to fuel oil.

Other lending agreed in principle EIB, includes backing for modernisation of a hospital in Austria, investment by local authorities in Spain and Hungary, upgrading urban infrastructure in Ukraine, and improving road links in Honduras.

Lending under EFSI is expected to be backed by seed funding of €21 billion, of which €5 billion will be from EIB and a €16 billion guarantee from the EU. This is intended to pull in €315 billion over three years.

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