Meeting in Luxembourg, the Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a total of €4.4 billion of new financing for 30 projects located across Europe, Asia and Africa. This includes financing to roll-out ultra-high speed internet across Germany, upgrade the Cairo metro, expand and rehabilitate forests in China, and improve access to off-grid solar power in Africa.
“The EU Bank is now moving on from crisis recovery to focusing on investments that can make Europe more competitive worldwide. This also involves making growth more sustainable and smart. Financing gaps still hold back investment in climate action and in the key product-to-market segment of the value chain. We want to enable companies to run with all the good ideas Europe has in abundance, to create jobs and expand. New projects endorsed today by the EU Bank will contribute to addressing these gaps. They also take us very close to achieving the Juncker Plan target of mobilising investments worth €315bn by this year,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer.
Improving access to finance by small business
The board meeting approved €1.4bn of new intermediated lending that will help small and medium size companies in Austria, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Armenia and Montenegro to create jobs and harness new business opportunities. The Board also approved new targeted lending programmes to support sustainable and high social impact investment, cut carbon emissions, improve agricultural production and stimulate rural investment, with partners in the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Reflecting the investment gap of early stage companies in Africa and specific economic challenges in southern Mediterranean countries, the EIB approved support for a new venture capital fund operating across the continent and a new private sector development programme intended to strengthen long-term economic resilience.
Enhancing provision of social housing
Households across Europe face the daily reality of a lack of affordable and available housing. The EIB Board decided to support €538 million for social housing investment in Spain and Sweden that will build new homes and contribute to expansion of near zero energy residential buildings.
Strengthening sustainable transport in world cities
The EIB Board approved investment to upgrade line 1 of the Cairo Metro and extend the Manchester Metrolink network.
Helping industry to innovate and cut energy use
€350m loans to companies across Europe will help cut energy use in hotels and industrial laundry facilities in Spain and retail centres in Poland; enable use of the latest technology in a new manufacturing plant in Latvia; and develop more efficient lighting technology in Austria, Germany, France and the UK.
Harnessing renewable energy and improving access to electricity
The board meeting approved €276m of new financing for energy investment. This includes PPP financing for the Northwester 2 wind farm project in Belgium and for the Olsztyn Waste to Energy Plant in Poland. The EIB will also support a new electricity inter-connector between the Greek mainland and the island of Crete, which will strengthen security of energy supply in the country. Reflecting the chronic lack of access to electricity in large parts of Africa, the EIB will also launch a new programme to finance off-grid solar power providers across Africa, which currently have no access to commercial financing.