The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend €450 million to Redes Energéticas Nacionais SGPS, S.A. (REN) to finance renewable energy connections and the reinforcement and upgrading of the Portuguese electricity transmission network. This financing will contribute to REN’s five-year electricity transmission investment programme (2022-2026), benefiting several regions across Portugal.

This €450 million green loan committed by the EIB in Portugal is part of the wider REPowerEU Plan to boost green energy and support the EU’s autonomy and competitiveness. The total €30 billion EIB contribution to REPowerEU is expected to mobilise over €115 billion of additional investment by 2027 in support of green technologies and Europe’s energy independence.

A signature ceremony took place in Lisbon, where the EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix and the CEO of REN Rodrigo Costa highlighted the significance of the €450 million committed to finance the overall modernisation and capacity increase of the electricity transmission network in Portugal.

“We are extremely pleased to have EIB supporting our commitment to the energy transition. REN is at the core of that movement, and this green loan will help us to do more and better in an increasingly complex energy system,” REN CEO Rodrigo Costa said. ”It will reinforce our investment capacity and will accelerate the development of new grid projects that will further enhance the use of renewable energy. These projects are part of a pan-European effort that is absolutely vital if we want to be successful in addressing the climate change threats”.

EIB Vice-President, Ricardo Mourinho Félix, stressed that “resilient and efficient energy networks are critical for the economy and citizens of a country. We are very pleased to strengthen our relationship with REN to support the modernisation and upgrade of the Portuguese electricity transmission network. Moreover, with this committed financing, we are fostering the connection of additional generation capacity from renewable energy sources, thus facilitating the delivery of green energy to households and companies across the country. The size of the loan also reflects the strong commitment of the EIB to be a main agent for the green transition in Portugal”.

The project is expected to support the modernisation and efficient operation of the electricity transmission network in Portugal, to increase its capacity, to enable the connection and integration of new renewable energy sources (4.2 GW in total additional capacity) and to enable REN to maintain the reliability and quality of electricity supply. This will include, among others, extension, refurbishment and modernisation of lines, substations and control and protection systems. A portion of the project (10%) is dedicated to improving the resilience of the network to climate change events, e.g. through the reinforcement of towers and cables.

The programme is geographically dispersed throughout mainland Portugal, and most of the investments are expected to be in areas designated as EU cohesion regions, affirming the EIB’s commitment to supporting the convergence of living standards and equitable, sustainable growth across the Union.

Image source: Courtesy of EIB

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