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European Investment Bank approves €10 billion in infrastructure loans

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved nearly €10 billion in loans for infrastructure across Europe and around the world. 24 Jul 2015

Finance has been agreed on 45 projects, including road, rail, ports, inland waterways and airports, the EIB said.

The EIB will invest in corporate research in the energy, automobile and textile sectors, and in medical research into treatments for epilepsy and Parkinson's disease, it said.

SME finance projects will be run in Austria, France, Germany, the UK, Tunisia, South Africa and Zambia, while environmental and renewable energy projects have been approved in Europe as well as Armenia, Kazakhstan and across Africa.

Five of the new projects will be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which has now been formally established by the EIB.

The EFSI is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the EIB. Set up within the EIB, the EFSI will manage a guarantee from the EU budget of €16bn and an EIB contribution of €5bn to trigger private and public investment of €315bn over the next three years, the EIB said.

EIB president Werner Hoyer said: "The Commission, the Council, the European Parliament, and the EU Bank have worked fast and well, and the EFSI now sees the light less than nine months after President Juncker and I outlined the plan at the Parliament on 27 November last year. The EIB has already started identifying and financing projects which will get EFSI backing. We believe that Europe must act fast, and we are now delivering on that belief."

EFSI projects include the roll out of smart meters to manage energy use in the UK, lending to improve access to finance for small renewable energy projects in Germany and France, and upgrading inland waterways in the Netherlands, the EIB said.

Outside Europe the EIB will support investment in renewable energy infrastructure in Nepal, reconstruction of infrastructure in Tbilisi following recent floods, and rehabilitation of the 41km access road to East Africa’s principal sea port in Mombasa, it said.

UK chancellor George Osborne announced this week that the British government will make £6 billion available for UK-based infrastructure projects jointly financed with the EIB.

The UK government will work with the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to help UK projects and small and medium sized companies (SMEs) access to financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the chancellor said in a statement.

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