EIB approves $14.6 billion for small business, transport, energy and urban investment

  • Record level of EUR 12.6 billion financing for 83 projects
  • Juncker Plan’s EUR 315 billion investment target exceeded
  • 4.5 billion for business investment across Europe and beyond
  • 3.4 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency

The European Investment Bank approved a total of EUR 12.6 billion of new financing for 83 projects located across Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. This represents a record level of new support ever agreed at a monthly meeting of the EIB Board of Directors.

By endorsing 48 projects for EUR 6.1 billion investment guaranteed by the Investment Plan for Europe, the EIB Board will enable the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to exceed its original EUR 315 billion investment target.

Following Board approval the EIB will finalise new programmes to enhance access to finance by small business in partnership with local banks, and support new investment in energy, transport, communications and urban development.

“The Juncker Plan is a success. The EIB Group has exceeded its commitments with financing worth considerably more than the EUR 315 billion targeted for the three years ending this month. We have shown that Europe can respond to economic challenges with energy and creativity. But there is no cause for complacency. Europe still lags behind global competitors and its own goals in terms of investment in innovation, education and other strategic sectors. The EIB continues to focus on increasing Europe’s competitiveness. The EU Bank has proven a key asset for investment and economic policy in Europe. Together with other EU institutions we must build on this success and on this model to double our efforts and make Europe economically stronger and more inclusive”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

Unlocking private sector investment and job creation

The board approved EUR 4.5 billion of new financing to support business investment across Europe and beyond. It will enable local financial partners to tackle investment gaps across seventeen EU countries and youth unemployment in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A new scheme to support investment by social enterprises across Europe will also be backed.

This includes dedicated lending to agriculture firms in Romania, tourism enterprises in Italy, microenterprises in Poland and Germany, export focused companies in Slovakia and a leading peer-to-peer platform. New SME and midcap financing will be provided through credit lines with local banks, guarantee structures, debt and equity funds and programmes with national promotional banks.

Direct support for industrial innovation comprises research and development of lightweight material and electric motorbikes by KTM in Austria, improved escalators and elevators by Kone in Finland and production of bioethanol using exhaust gases from an Arcelor Mittal steel mill in Belgium.

Harnessing clean energy

The EIB will provide more than EUR 3.4 billion for new investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, Near Zero Energy Buildings, hydropower and district heating projects.

Energy projects approved yesterday include backing for a new Belgian offshore windfarm, solar power plants in Spain, district heating in Budapest, three hydropower plants in northern Portugal, and new investment to reduce power losses in Jamaica. Support for a new initiative to finance domestic renewable energy in the Netherlands was also confirmed.

Improving sustainable transport

New EIB financing totalling EUR 1.8 billion was agreed to support sustainable transport projects. This includes new commuter rail rolling stock in Berlin, accommodating future growth at Guadaloupe and Venice airports, construction of the first metro line in Bogota, low-emission buses in Warsaw, expansion of electric vehicle charging stations in Italy, a new water transport hub in China and upgrading public transport fleets across Spain.

Upgrading urban infrastructure

Public services, urban regeneration, health care, water and energy efficient street lighting schemes will benefit from EUR 1.8 billion of new EIB support for investment by cities and local authorities across Europe.
Specific schemes include sustainable urban development in Sardinia, Sicily, northern Germany and the Polish city of Walbrzych, improving energy efficiency in public and private buildings in Latvia, upgrading wastewater in Lebanon and financing domestic renewable energy in the Netherlands. A new partnership will also support smart city investment projects across Belgium.

The board also approved financing for reconstruction of the largest wastewater treatment plant in Minsk, capital of Belarus

Ensuring better mobile and internet communications

The board approved support for high-speed broadband in Italy, expansion of mobile and broadband networks in Kenya and roll out of next generation mobile networks in Europe.

The board approved PPP financing for the Netz Elbe Spree rolling stock programme.

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