Endesa has taken out a 500 million-euro loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to improve and modernise its distribution grid. The aim of the project, which will be carried out over the next two years, is to boost the quality and efficiency of its electricity supply facilities, making them more environmentally friendly and sustainable, and expanding Endesa’s network of connections to renewable energy sources. The loan agreement was signed today in Madrid by Endesa CEO, José Bogas, and the EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano.
The grid enhancements will be completed in six autonomous communities: Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, the Canary Islands, Andalusia and Extremadura, while over 17,500 people will be required to execute the project.
Most of the funds will be used to roll out new connections to renewable electricity sources, and will enable Endesa to expand its customer network and supply power for public transport. Distribution grid improvements include laying new low-voltage lines and replacing overhead power lines with underground cables to reduce both the environmental impact and power cuts caused by fallen trees and branches.
The project financed by the EIB will also contribute to automating electricity facilities, improving the remote control of Endesa’s substations, which will also be equipped with new systems to detect leaks and unauthorised supply connections. The company’s five power grid control centres in Zaragoza, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are prepared to operate anywhere across the distribution grid.
The technology revamps will also benefit customers through the installation of over 2.5 million smart meters that can provide information to enable them to tailor their electricity consumption to the different time-based tariffs.
During the signing in Madrid, EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano, said that: “One of the EIB’s priorities is to ensure the necessary finance is available to guarantee a secure and sustainable power supply. We are therefore pleased to support this project to revamp electricity facilities, with a two-fold objective: to enhance supply quality and contribute to tackling climate change through a more sustainable electricity system”.
Endesa CEO, José Bogas, highlighted that the EIB loan will help “boost the efficiency of distribution activities and increase the grid’s capacity to meet the demand for new energy services while enhancing the grid integration of renewable energies in the system.”
The loan, for a maximum term of 12 ears and with a grace period for principal over the first 3 years, forms part of the EIB’s significant contribution to financing the Company’s infrastructure investments. The awarding of the loan reflects Endesa’s creditworthiness.
The EIB and Endesa have signed a total of ten loan agreements since 1996 for close to 1.8 billion euros, making the EIB the group’s second largest lender in terms of the volume of finance arranged.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s long-term lending institution owned by EU Member States. The EIB provides long-term finance for viable investment projects to contribute to achieving the EU’s policy objectives.