The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 120 million loan with the power distribution subsidiary of Romanian electricity supplier Electrica Group to finance network modernization, advanced metering, and renewable energy integration.
The EIB’s first ever loan to Electrica Group, with a repayment period of 15 years, is the first part of a EUR 210 million EIB facility for energy infrastructure investment by Distribuție Energie Electrică Romania (DEER), the bank said in a statement.
The loan will help connect 180,000 customers and enable long-term renewables integration
The loan, covering 75% of the project cost, will help Electrica connect more than 180,000 customers, increase network capacity, improve the reliability and quality of electricity supply, support an advanced-metering rollout, and enable the long-term integration of renewable energy generation.
The distribution grid modernization will involve upgrading and building new power lines, constructing and refurbishing power substations, and installing components for network automation across Romania.
The loan agreement was signed at a ceremony in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, in the presence of the country’s energy minister, Virgil-Daniel Popescu, who said that scaling up energy distribution investment will help harness Romania’s renewable energy potential and contribute to Europe’s energy transition.
The EIB financing will support the energy transition in Romania
Corina Popescu, CEO of Electrica, said the loan will help Electrica to better cater to the energy needs of its 3.8 million customers in the years ahead and support the green transition in Romania. DEER is the major national electricity distribution operator, covering 18 counties, which represent 40.7% of the Romanian territory.
For his part, Christian Kettel-Thomsen, EIB’s vice president responsible for lending operations in Romania, said that the loan will support the country’s long-term decarbonization targets, among other things.
The EIB has provided more than EUR 1.2 billion for energy investment across Romania since 1991, according to the statement.