Finance approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB) will include €4 billion of new financing for strategic infrastructure, and more than €1.1 billion of new support for investment in social and affordable housing.

The board of directors of the EIB, representing the bank’s 28 European Union member state shareholders as well as the European Commission, approved €9.4 billion of new financing for 56 projects across Europe and around the world.

This included more than €2.8 billion of new loans for 19 projects backed by the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), as well as use of the guarantee for two projects already approved by the board.

The EIB board also agreed to provide more than €750 million for investment in eight projects outside Europe.

EIB president Werner Hoyer said, “In a difficult context of global turmoil and uncertainty in Europe, the EU’s bank continues to provide targeted financing for real world, real economy projects.

“Almost daily we are called to respond to challenging, sometimes horrible events that test our resolve to promote and abide by our common values. It is important that we react promptly and wisely.”

Long-term investment

He added that it was also important that the EIB maintained perspective and remained committed to long-term investment.

Hoyer said, “We need it to bring durable adjustments and adaptations of economies both within Europe and across the world, making them more resilient and bringing people hope for their future and that of the planet.

“That is what the EIB is about – delivering for the real economy and for the medium term.”

New EIB financing under the EFSI EU budget guarantee included participation in a new equity fund to support private investment in Greece, as well as in manufacturing industries, IT and tourism in various European countries.

EFSI-backed lending will also support investment in energy in Italy, Spain and the UK, and social housing in Portugal and Poland.

Under the Investment Plan for Europe the EIB will also support investment to upgrade hospital facilities in Poland.

The board approved more than €4 billion of new financing for strategic infrastructure, including social housing in Germany and the UK, upgrading road links in northern Poland and northern Brazil, and small scale infrastructure projects by French local authorities and in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

The board also agreed to support water investment in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Tunisia.

More than €1.1 billion of new support for investment in social and affordable housing was approved. This includes financing for social housing and temporary accommodation and reception centres for refugees across Germany, through projects in Nord Rhine Westphalia, Munich and Brandenburg.

Social housing

New EIB lending will also support social housing in the Polish cities of Radom and Poznan, and by one of the largest housing associations in the UK.

In the area of sustainable and renewable energy, the EIB board agreed to finance the extension of the Olkaria 1 Geothermal plant and rural electrification in Kenya. Financing for expansion of electricity distribution in the northern state of Bahia in Brazil was also approved.

The meeting of the EIB board meeting followed the third meeting of the EFSI Investment Committee, held on 14 July. It approved 22 projects which the Investment Committee had cleared for financing under the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee from the EU Budget.

The EIB said negotiations for the approved loans were expected to be finalised over the next few months. All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EU budget guarantee, need to receive approval by the EIB board before loan contracts are finalised.

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