The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted three loans for energy projects in Slovenia. A total of ?393 million will be channelled into two modern power plants and a number of smaller
energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
EIB president Phillippe Maystadt welcomed the financing of these projects, saying that they ‘will help to secure and diversify the energy supply in Slovenia and make a positive contribution
towards meeting increased energy demand’.
The largest part of the investment – a loan of ?350 – will go into the design, construction and commissioning of a new 600 MW steam turbine in central Slovenia. Modernising and increasing the
efficiency of electricity generation from lignite, which is one of the major Slovenian fuel resources, the turbine will replace 410 MW of existing lignite-fired capacity. The new unit will
bring down carbon emissions by 28%. Simultaneously, surplus heat generated will be fed into the local district heating system.
The project will contribute to secure electricity supply as well as to creating jobs in a convergence region, the EIB says. This is fully in line with the EIB’s energy policy.
The EIB has agreed to lend a further ?13 million for Slovenia’s first pumped-storage power plant, which will use off-peak electricity at night to pump water. The water flow can then be reversed
during peak hours in order to generate energy of up to 185 MW. This additional money will be used for the completion of the construction, as well as for operating the plant, which has already
previously received ?43 million from the EIB.
The remaining ?30 million will be dedicated to supporting small and medium sized investments with environmental benefits. The loan will be granted to the Environmental Development Fund of the
Republic of Slovenia (Eco Fund), which will in turn redistribute it to various projects for the reduction of air and water pollution. This framework loan will provide the means for projects run
by municipalities, public and private companies, as well as individual households with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable energies and water or wastewater.
Since the beginning of 2006, the EIB ,as the EU’s long-term financing institution, has provided loans of more than ?6 billion for energy investment within the EU. This year it made energy
lending its top priority, attempting to increase renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy saving, research and development in energy, as well as security and diversification of supplies.
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