EIB investment commitments in Ireland topped €825m last year

European Union financial arm set to unveil support for social housing investment

Key infrastructure projects supported by the European Investment Bank in recent years include the building of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Key infrastructure projects supported by the European Investment Bank in recent years include the building of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided more than €825 million for long-term public-sector investment across Ireland last year.

The EIB, the financial arm of the European Union, offers low-cost access to capital markets, typically for large-scale infrastructure projects.

The bank, which recently opened new offices in Dublin in a move seen as strengthening ties with Ireland, said it expected funding commitments locally to top €1 billion for the first time this year.

Overall, the EIB has provided low-cost loans amounting to more than €15 billion in Ireland since 1979. More than €3.8 billion has been given in the last three years alone for investment to improve education, transport, energy and water infrastructure and access to finance by small business.

In the coming weeks the bank is expected to announce details of significant new support for social housing investment in Dublin and communities across Ireland and confirm the first support for forest investment in the country for 20 years.

Terminal 2

Key infrastructure projects supported by the bank in recent years include Luas Cross City and the building of Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. The bank also committed €100 million late last year to finance Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin redevelopment project, which will deepen the navigation channel at the port to allow for bigger container and cruise ships.

In December, the EIB announced the signing of a €50 million loan agreement with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as part of a €106 million investment in the institution’s Dublin campus.

In addition to providing funding for infrastructure projects, the bank is increasingly lending to the private sector, with Irish life sciences company Malin securing a €70 million, seven-year debt facility last year.

“Strengthened support for crucial investment across Ireland by the European Investment Bank during 2016 reflects the importance of unlocking investment essential for sustainable economic recovery and represented one of the strongest ever years of EIB engagement in the country,” said vice-president Andrew McDowell.