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European Investment Bank approves €8 billion in energy and infrastructure funding

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved more than €8 billion ($9 billion) of financing for 21 renewable energy and infrastructure projects, including four earmarked for support from an EU guarantee under a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that has yet to be formally established.20 May 2015

The four projects earmarked for EFSI financing include: support for energy efficiency in 40,000 private French homes, to reduce heating bills; new renewable energy and related transmission links in northern and western Europe, supporting investment in offshore wind farms and biomass facilities; a large-scale pulp mill in Finland to allow the plant to be self-sufficient in renewable energy; and improvements to the Spanish gas distribution network to bring natural gas to consumers.

Lending under EFSI is expected to be backed by a core endowment of €21bn, comprising €5bn from the EIB and a €16bn guarantee from the EU. The EIB said it is committed to supporting these projects even if the EU guarantee is found not to apply.

Other projects approved for funding include the modernisation of a hospital in Austria, upgrades to urban infrastructure in Ukraine, and improvements to road links in Honduras. 

“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," said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank group president.

"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. Projects earmarked today for EFSI guarantee support complement the EIB Group’s support for projects in innovation, social infrastructure, and SME funding beyond EFSI as part of its ordinary activity," Hoyer said.