EIB doubled Irish funding in 2009

By Steve Skinner23 March 2010

The European Investment Bank (EIB) more than doubled its funding to Ireland in 2009, up from € 450 million in 2008 to € 1,02 billion.

Of the increased funding, € 800 million of EIB loans were approved for construction and infrastructure projects including € 300 million for the construction of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. A further € 200 million was approved for renewable energy through the Electricity Supply Board's (ESB) on-shore wind investment programme and € 300 million towards the Eirgrid East-West Interconnector.

The East-West Interconnector is an ambitious € 600 million project that involves the construction of a 260 km long high voltage DC cable link between Ireland and mainland UK with a capacity to carry 500 MW of electricity.

Sweden's ABB was awarded the design, manufacture and installation contract in March 2009 and construction is due to commence this summer with completion scheduled for 2012. Irish Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said, "The East-West Interconnector is vital infrastructure for our country and will bring many benefits. It will help the development of the green economy and create jobs in Ireland in the renewable power sector. The investment from Europe is a significant boost to the Irish economy."

Reiterating its commitment to Ireland through 2010, EIB vice president Plutarchos Sakellaris said, "The EIB invested over € 1 billion in Ireland in 2009, a record level of support for projects in the country.

"We wish to enhance the successful cooperation with public bodies, leading companies and SMEs in Ireland to ensure that key capital investment continues during the challenging and difficult times facing the country over the next 12 months. We are confident that industry, transport, social infrastructure, health and education will continue to benefit from EIB support in the coming years," he said.

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