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European Investment Bank backs renewable energy investment across Greek islands

European Investment Bank backs renewable energy investment across Greek islands

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Renewable energy generation across Greek islands and on the mainland of the country will be strengthened under a new investment programme by PPC Renewables backed by the European Investment Bank. A new EUR 85 million European Investment Bank (EIB) loan signed in Athens today will support both the repowering of wind parks and small hydropower stations and construction of new hydropower plants and wind parks across the country.

This represents the largest ever support for renewable energy investment in Greece by the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest financier for renewable energy.

“New investment in renewable energy is essential to cut carbon emissions and support for renewable energy investment is a priority for both the Greek government and the European Investment Bank. The EIB is pleased to expand our long-standing partnership with PPC to harness clean energy across Greece through this first engagement with PPC Renewables. As the EU Bank, the EIB supports climate related investment worldwide and this scheme is already being examined by others as a model to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy on small islands.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“This loan will bolster the generation of electricity from renewables in mainland Greece and on the islands. It will also support the change of the energy mix generated at Group level and will make energy supplies in Greece more sustainable and more secure. The PPC Group has an excellent long standing cooperation with European Investment Bank, since 1963, building a relationship of trust. Today, EIB’s financing to PPCR, under the current challenging financial conditions, underlines EIB’s catalytical role to boost investment in renewables.” said Manolis Panagiotakis, Chairman of PPC Renewables.

“Today PPCR is entering a new era, as it is the very first time the company signs a loan contract for financing a pipeline of 18 renewable energy projects. The loan provided by European Investment Bank, with beneficial rates compared to standard business lending rates, is very important for PPCR as it will enable the complete repowering of old wind farms and small hydro projects and the installation of new RES projects. We are looking forward to working together with EIB and make this cooperation a success” said Ilias Monacholias, CEO of PPC Renewables.

The finance contract for the EUR 85 million EIB loan was signed in Athens earlier today by Nicholas Jennett, Deputy Director General and Head of Investment Team for Greece on behalf of the European Investment Bank and Manolis Panagiotakis, Chairman, and Ilias Monacholias, CEO, on behalf of PPC Renewables.

The new renewable energy programme will support investment at small scale windfarms at sites across the country, including on the islands of Kefallonia, Chios, Lesvos, Crete, Mykonos, Samos, Evia, Limnos, Karpathos, Ikaria, Tinos, Psara and on the mainland in Karditsa.

This includes repowering of existing windfarms, some of which have been operational for more than 25 years, as well as construction of small scale windfarms at new sites. Additionally, the new renewable energy programme will support the repowering of two old small hydro-power stations, (one located in Arta – the Louros project – and one located in Vermio, northern Greece as well as two new small hydro power stations, one located in Smokovo and the other in Makrohori, central Greece.

Once complete the scheme will increase generation of renewable energy in Greece by 90 MW and make a significant contribution to both national and European renewable energy objectives.

Development, construction and operation of the individual renewable energy projects is expected to be completed over the next two years.

Expansion of renewable energy is a strategic priority for PPC Group and the new cooperation between PPC Renewables and the EIB will help the PPC Group to achieve its strategic aim to become a major supplier of green energy in Greece. New investment to improve existing and develop new wind farms will enhance energy self-sufficiency, create new employment opportunities and benefit local communities.

The new 16 year loan represents the first support for investment by PPC Renewables by the European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution and the world’s largest lender for renewable energy investment. The EIB loan is expected to be guaranteed by a State Guarantee from the Hellenic Republic.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 3 billion for energy investment across Greece. This has included support for renewable energy projects, enhancing electricity transmission and improving power generation on islands. Earlier this year the EIB agreed to provide EUR 24 million to support construction of three wind farms, in the central Greek region of Viotia with a total generation capacity of 49MW.

Over the last 10 years the EIB has supported investment in onshore and offshore windfarms worldwide, through more than EUR 17 billion on new financing.

Source: eib.org
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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