815 mln EIB boost for transport and energy
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will be providing up to EUR 815 mln for motorways, the Thessaloniki metro and an improved electricity transmission network in Greece.
“We concentrate on key sectors and help the Greek state to proceed with the construction of the country’s major motorways and the Thessaloniki metro to improve the citizens’ living and economic conditions,” EIB President Werner Hoyer said last week after signing the loan agreements in Athens.
“We also contribute to realise the electricity interconnection of the Cyclades islands, a long awaited project in Greece. This investment boosts tourism, by putting an end to the blackout risks of the past. All five projects will create jobs during construction and after, through commissioning, and will have further positive spillover effects in the regional and national environment, economy and living conditions”.
The EIB loan will support the state’s financial commitments to the main transport corridor (Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki), which is also a trans-European priority transport investment. The loan will finance the construction of 239 km of new motorways and smaller upgrades on 434 km of existing motorways located along this main axis. This is the second and last tranche of the EIB facility of a total of EUR 650 mln.
The Thessaloniki Metro project has been the focus of a strategy for providing an efficient and effective public transport system in metropolitan Thessaloniki, in parallel with the ongoing extensions of the Athens metro network. It has been supported by the Greek State, the European Union through EU grants and the EIB. The EIB is already partially financing the Thessaloniki metro baseline, with previous loans totalling EUR 650 mln, and the new agreement provides additional support for the network’s extension to the area of Kalamaria. The signature of a EUR 180 mln loan is the second and final tranche of a EUR 415 mln facility to the Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC/DEH), for renovating and reinforcing the electricity distribution network, as well as extending it to enable some 186,000 new connections throughout peninsular and insular Greece. The promoter of the project is the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A. (HEDNO), a 100% subsidiary of PPC created in 2012.
Finally, the funding to the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO or ADMIE) consists of two loans aiming at improved electricity transmission and the interconnection of the Cyclades islands to the mainland network.
The EUR 70 mln deal is the first tranche of a EUR 140 mln facility to support the company’s current on-going power transmission investment programme. This includes the construction of the Megalopoli Extra High Voltage Station, the interconnection of Nea Makri (Attica mainland) to Polypotamos (island of Evia), and a cluster of smaller transmission schemes.
The second loan for EUR 65 mln is the first tranche of a EUR 130 mln facility to support the connection of the main Cycladic islands Syros, Tinos, Mykonos and Paros with the mainland interconnected system. The interconnection will be effected through a subsea cable grid operated at 150 kV. The project will substitute the local generation run on fuel oil with energy produced by far cheaper and less polluting stations on the mainland. It will also support additional wind and solar generation capacity on the islands, which in the currently isolated configuration is restricted for technical reasons.