The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on June 12 that the bank will support a €170 million electricity network investment programme by the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO), a subsidiary of the largest power provider in Greece, PPC.
The EIB and PPC signed on June 12 the second loan amounting to €45 million within the total loan facility of €85 million, the EIB said, adding that the bank will finance 50% of the new scheme that will reinforce and modernise electricity distribution across the Greek mainland and islands and enable the national network to better supply renewable energy.
The EIB said that the importance of new energy investment in Greece and crucial need to upgrade electricity distribution infrastructure to ensure reliable supply was highlighted ahead of the signature of the Financial Contract for the EIB’s long-term loan in Athens earlier on June 12.
Greece’s Energy and Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis said long-term investment to modernise and reinforce electricity infrastructure across Greece is essential to ensure reliable electricity supply and cater for increased energy needs in the years ahead. “The European Investment Bank is a long-standing partner of the Greek energy sector and the EIB’s technical expertise and financial support has strengthened energy investment across Greece for decades. I welcome this new EIB backing that will improve electricity distribution in the years ahead and reflects the firm engagement of the EIB in Greece,” Stathakis said.
PPC Chairman and CEO Manolis Panagiotiakis noted that “the role of the Distribution Network, an imperative parameter for the operation of electricity, becomes extremely important for green energy and consumer’s participation, within the European policy framework and in correlation with all relative technological developments.”
He reminded that the Greek Distribution Network is a very valuable asset that PPC Group possesses. “Within this context, the signing of the second loan agreement amounting to €45 million within the total loan of €85 million, is of exceptional importance and we would like to thank EIB one more time for being here today, facilitating further our strategic plans to reinforce and modernise the Distribution Network across the Greek mainland and islands,” Panagiotiakis said, adding that EIB is a strategic financing partner of PCC that supports its investment programme with respect to projects of major importance related to PPC’s business plan on the economy, the Greek consumers, the security of supply of the country and the environment.
EIB Vice President responsible for lending operations in Greece, Jonathan Taylor, noted that investment in energy infrastructure is crucial to ensure reliable electricity supply and reflect changing sources of power generation. “The European Investment Bank is pleased to provide €85 million to support transformational investment by HEDNO that will modernise the national electricity network, enable increased power consumption reflecting economic growth and improve reliable energy supply to millions of customers across Greece,” Taylor said. “This builds on the EIB’s strong track record of financing energy investment across Greece, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, interconnectors to islands and electricity distribution, the EIB Vice President added.
In the presence of Stathakis, Panagiotakis and the head of the EIB’s Investment Team for Greece, Peter Jacobs, signed the 20-year EIB loan to PPC. The new EIB loan to support investment by HEDNO follows successful implementation of investment in electricity distribution infrastructure previously supported by the EIB and is guaranteed by Greece, EIB said.
Under the EIB backed investment programme, HEDNO will upgrade and reinforce electricity distribution across Greece, including large-scale investment in Athens, northern Greece and Crete.
The programme will also improve high-voltage substations and network to ensure reliable electricity supply to PPC’s 7.2 million customers nationwide and improve remote monitoring of the electricity distribution network, the EIB said.
The distribution investment programme will further strengthen connections to new renewable energy schemes and reduce the level of electricity lost through theft.
Upgrading the national electricity distribution network will enable Greece to increase use of the renewable energy resources and achieve multiple energy policy objectives including meeting environmental and climate goals and enhancing energy security, the EIB said.
The EIB has provided more than €5.9 billion for energy investment across Greece since 1964, including €3.1 billion in the last decade. This has included backing new investment in wind energy, power distribution and transmission, energy efficiency and security of energy supply projects and technical assistance to share experience from similar schemes elsewhere in Europe.