The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a 20-year €255m loan to Greek Public Power (PPC) to upgrade electricity distribution across Greece.
The new loan, guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic, will be one of the largest ever EIB loans for electricity investment in Greece.
This is the first EIB financing in Greece in 2019 and will support a €510m national investment programme of the Hellenic Electricity Network Operator (HEDNO), a wholly owned subsidiary of PPC, within the period July 2017-2020.
PPC chairman and CEO Manolis Panagiotakis and EIB official responsible for public sector lending in Greece and Cyprus, Ioannis Kaltsas, signed the first part of the new loan, to PPC, totalling €155m.
The remaining €100m is expected to be signed as the project progresses.
Expansion of the electricity distribution network is expected to cater to increase in demand in the future and enable energy consumers across the country to benefit from more reliable electricity supply.
Under the expansion programme, 7,327km of medium- and low-voltage electricity distribution lines will be installed to improve distribution efficiency and increase network resilience and stability.
The national electricity network is required to be upgraded to better connect existing and planned wind farms and solar power plants to towns and cities.
In 2018, the EIB agreed to support the construction of two new wind farms in northern Greece, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and investments for smart metering and improve high-voltage electricity infrastructure.
The EIB has provided €6.4bn for energy investment across Greece over the last 55 years, which includes more than €2bn for new power generation and electricity distribution investment by PPC.
This included investment in wind energy, power distribution and transmission, energy efficiency and security of energy supply projects, as well as technical assistance to share experience from similar schemes elsewhere in Europe.
Minister of Energy and Environment Giorgos Stathakis said: “The reliable supply of electricity and addressing increased energy needs require significant long term investments for the modernization and the reinforcement of electricity infrastructure of the country.
“Within this context, I welcome the new initiative of the European Investment Bank, which will materially contribute in the improvement of electricity distribution.
“Besides, EIB has been a long term partner of the Greek energy sector, providing financial support and valuable knowhow.”
Image: EIB to provide €255m to upgrade Greek national electricity network. Photo: Courtesy of European Investment Bank.