815 mln EIB boost for trans­port and en­ergy

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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