EIB Invests €150 Million in Helsinki’s Renewable Energy Transition

EIB Invests €150 Million in Helsinki’s Renewable Energy Transition

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank (EIB) has inked a €150 million loan deal with Helen Ltd, a prominent Finnish energy company owned by the City of Helsinki. This funding aims to bolster two new renewable-energy initiatives in the district heating sector, part of Helen’s drive towards carbon neutrality by 2030. The investment, totaling €209 million, will finance the installation of a heat pump plant and the conversion of coal usage to biomass pellets in one of Helen’s heating facilities. With over half a million customers, Helen plays a crucial role in providing electricity, district heating, and cooling. This move aligns with the EU’s REPowerEU plan to diminish reliance on fossil fuels. VP of EIB Thomas Östros highlights the significance of this shift in combating the energy crisis and climate change. Helen’s CFO Timo Rajala emphasizes the importance of transitioning to renewables for both climate mitigation and energy self-sufficiency.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 25-Apr-2024— /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €150 million loan agreement with Helen Ltd, a leading Finnish energy company wholly owned by the City of Helsinki, to finance two new renewable energy projects in the district heating sector. The total investment amounts to €209 million, with the EIB contributing 72%.

The financing will be used to build a new heat pump plant, and to convert fuel use from coal to biomass pellets in one of Helen’s heating plants in Helsinki. As one of the largest energy companies in Finland, Helen serves more than half a million customers, providing electricity, district heating and cooling.

Helen aims to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in its energy production by 2030. The company is making significant investments in a sustainable and modern energy system and building capacity to replace more than 2 000 MW of installed fossil energy production capacity by 2025.

The investment is part of the EIB’s package of support for REPowerEU, the plan to reduce the European Union’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels.

“The financing will help replace fossil fuels with renewable fuels, which is one of the key targets of REPowerEU and one of the most impactful ways to deal with the current energy crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change,” says Thomas Östros, EIB Vice-President responsible for EIB business in Finland. “As a first-time client, we are supporting Helen’s path to carbon neutrality and the transformation of Helsinki’s district heating systems.”

“This EIB financing is a major step in Helen’s path towards carbon-neutral energy production by 2030. We have made significant investments in the green transition over the past years and will continue do so in the future. In addition to contributing to climate change mitigation, the transformation from fossil-based energy production to renewable sources increases our energy self-sufficiency, adding to the reliability of energy supply in general,” says Helen’s CFO Timo Rajala.

Background information

European Investment Bank

The ElB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy objectives. EIB projects bolster competitiveness, drive innovation, promote sustainable development, enhance social and territorial cohesion, and support a just and swift transition to climate neutrality.

The EIB Group, which also includes the European Investment Fund (EIF), signed a total of €88 billion in new financing for over 900 projects in 2023. In 2023 the Bank’s investments included more than €21 billion as part of REPowerEU, an initiative designed to reduce Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the green transition.

All projects financed by the EIB Group are in line with the Paris Climate Accord. The EIB Group does not fund investments in fossil fuels. It is on track to deliver on its commitment to support €1 trillion in climate and environmental sustainability investment in the decade to 2030, as pledged in its Climate Bank Roadmap. Over half of the EIB Group’s annual financing supports projects directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and a healthier environment.

In 2023, the EIB Group pledged almost €1 billion in financing for new projects in Finland, supporting investment worth nearly €4.4 billion. This is part of the nearly €8 billion of EIB Group financing provided in the country over the past five years.

Helen Ltd

Helen Ltd helps to make everyday life a little easier for over 560 000 customers in Finland. In addition to heat, cooling and electricity, it offers solutions for regional and renewable energy and electric transport. It is developing a smarter, carbon-neutral energy system that enables everyone to produce, use and save energy with respect for the environment. Helen aims to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in its energy production by 2030, to turn the opportunities of a new energy era into reality. helen.fi

Media Contact:

Kristiina Randmaa
+352 4379 – 72894

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SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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