EIB and EIF support regional development and sustainable innovation in Czech Republic with €1.85B investment in 2022

EIB and EIF support regional development and sustainable innovation in Czech Republic with €1.85B investment in 2022

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, invested €1.85 billion in the Czech Republic in 2022 to support regional development, improve sustainable development and innovation in small and medium enterprises and mid-caps, and secure energy supply and climate action. The EIB lent €1.78 billion through 12 operations in the public, private, and banking sector, while the EIF provided an additional €70 million in four equity, guarantee, and inclusive finance operations. The Bank partnered with the Czech government to provide €200 million to host Ukrainian refugees, contributing to the national health sector. The Czech Republic also became the 9th donor to the Trust Fund for the Eastern Partnership countries by contributing €10 million. The EIB Group’s financing in 2022, a record 19.4 billion euros, went to support clean energy, including a loan of €790 million to the Czech national utility company to upgrade and expand the country’s electricity distribution grid and promote energy independence through new renewable energy sources.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 8-Feb-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and the European Investment Fund (EIF), made a significant investment of €1.85 billion in the Czech Republic in 2022 with the aim of promoting regional development, fostering sustainable innovation in small and medium enterprises and mid-caps, and ensuring stability and efficiency in energy supply and climate action.

This investment is part of the EIB Group’s larger efforts to support the European Union and partner countries during these challenging times. The group has been at the forefront of efforts to help the EU and its partners cope with the economic consequences of the Russian attack on Ukraine, having deployed over €1.7 billion since the beginning of the conflict, in addition to providing €3.6 million in humanitarian aid donations outside of the EU.

The EIB Group also partnered with the Czech government to provide €200 million to assist in hosting Ukrainian refugees, primarily to finance expenses related to the national health sector. To accelerate project preparation and support the recovery of Ukraine, the Czech Republic became the 9th donor under the Trust Fund for the Eastern Partnership Countries by contributing €10 million to the fund.

In 2022, a record 19.4 billion euros of the EIB Group’s financing globally was dedicated to supporting clean energy initiatives. The group is committed to supporting the REPowerEU initiative, which aims to end European dependency on Russia, and invested over €17 billion last year in projects that contribute to this objective.

At a time when energy security is a critical concern, the EIB signed several major operations in the Czech corporate sector, including a record loan of €790 million within an investment program that spans 2023-2024 with the Czech national utility company ČEZ. The loan aims to upgrade and expand the country’s electricity distribution grid and promote Czech energy independence by enabling ČEZ to connect around 2.2 GW of new renewable energy sources.

In conclusion, the European Investment Bank Group’s €1.85 billion investment in the Czech Republic in 2022 will play a crucial role in promoting regional development, innovation, stability, and sustainability in the country. With its continued support of the EU and partner countries, the group is demonstrating its commitment to promoting a fair transition to a more sustainable energy system, and creating long-term value for everyone by ensuring access to reliable and cleaner energy.

Vice-President of the EIB, Lilyana Pavlova, in charge of operations in Czech Republic, said: „We are proud to be an integral part of the Czech success story and its transformation into a modern and globally competitive economy in the last 30 years. In 2022, we signed twelve operations, including a record deal in the energy sector, which is one of our flagship investments  supporting the EU to escape the shackles of fossil-fuel dependency, meet its climate goals and contribute to the decarbonisation of the global economy. Moving ahead we will keep our strong focus on supporting the Czech economy  ensuring just transition, decarbonisation of the industry, deployment of renewables, energy efficient solutions and green transport. We are committed to bring another layer of the boost for the Czech companies, households, and infrastructure, by delivering on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in November with the Ministers of Transport and Finance on the modernization of the Czech railway sector.  I would like to thank our partners, especially the Government, for the opportunity to contribute to a strong Czech economy.”

Jiří Valenta, the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic, commented: „I appreciate the activities of the European Investment Bank in the Czech economy and I believe the Bank will stay our strong and reliable financial partner for more than another 30 years. Since 1992, the EIB has invested a total of EUR 27.6 billion in the Czech Republic. In the context of the current geopolitical risks, we must continue to reduce our dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports and our priority remains investment in the development of nuclear energy and renewable energy, while respecting the climate targets. Equally important for us will be increased investment in the defence of our country.”

European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund Invest Over €27.57 Billion in Czech Republic to Support Businesses, Climate Action, and Efficient Energy Supply

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF) have invested over €27.57 billion in the Czech Republic since 1992 to support key sectors of the economy. Last year, the EIB invested in three public sector operations, six with banks, and three with Czech corporations. It directed €91.6 million to CEPS to reinforce the Czech electricity transmission network from 2023 to 2025, €36.7 million to Ceske Drahy to modernize its rolling stock, and €9.9 million to Codasip and €5.5 million to Advanced Electronics RDI to support innovation. The EIB also partnered with Czech banks to provide accessible loans to SMEs and mid-caps, with a total envelope of €646 million.

The EIF invested €67.2 million in equity and guarantees for SMEs and mid-cap loans in three operations with financial institutions, and a new program with the Ministry of Industry and Trade is launching to target digital technologies through commitments to a pre-seed co-investment fund, a fintech/blockchain fund, and an AI university TT fund.

EIB Advisory Services continue to provide valuable support to the Czech government and public and private sector to improve energy efficiency and attract additional EU funds. Assignments include development of a project pipeline in the rail and road sectors, advising on the development of cycling infrastructure in Brno, and energy efficiency improvement projects in publicly and privately owned buildings. The EIB Advisory Hub also engaged extensively with Czech counterparts about support in the social and affordable housing sector.

Most ongoing assignments of Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) in the Czech Republic are in support of development of a project pipeline, including a strategy for implementation of TEN-T technical standards and concepts for the Czech high speed rail network and Prague rail node development.

European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) works on three energy efficiency improvement projects of publicly and privately owned buildings in the country that receive over €10 million in grants in efforts to attract EUR €267 million for energy efficiency measures.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) finances projects in four priority areas — infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since the beginning of its lending operations in Slovakia in 1992, the EIB has invested €9.7 billion across key economic sectors — including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), transport, infrastructure, and energy. One of the EIB’s main activities in Slovakia is to help SMEs and to improve their access to long-term financing by creating credit lines with local financial institutions.

The EIB Global finances sound investment contributing to EU policy goals, including a global just transition to climate neutrality. A subsidiary of the EIB, the European Invest Fund (EIF) is Europe’s largest venture capital and private equity financier.

At a press conference held in Brussels on 2 February 2023, the EIB Group also unveiled a new logo, which aligns its corporate branding and visual identity with that of the other EU institutions and bodies. The new logo is based on two main elements: the European flag and a graphic element representing the silhouette of the EIB Group’s headquarters in Luxembourg.

About REPowerEU The new co-investment initiative will allow Inven Capital to continue in its mission to invest in and support the growth of clean-tech start-ups with innovations that can scale positive change and eliminate negative planetary impact, focusing mainly on the topic of decarbonization and sustainability. The cooperation also furthers the objectives of the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan aiming to save and produce clean energy and diversify our energy supplies and is backed by financial and legal means to build the new energy infrastructure that Europe needs. REPowerEU sets out a series of measures to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast-forward the green transition, while increasing energy system resilience EU-wide. The plan is based on finding alternative energy supplies, making behavioural changes to save energy and spurring investment in renewable energy.

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SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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