Wind Wire: Loan agreement

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a framework loan agreement with Italian corporate and investment bank Centrobanca to finance wind and other renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency investments.

Under the agreement, EIB will make EUR200 million available, primarily for small and medium-scale projects costing up to EUR50 million. The EIB will cover up to 50% of capital expenditures, meaning projects worth roughly EUR400 million could be financed. "Typically, there might be a portion of equity of about 20%, with the EIB covering 40-50% and Centrobanca covering the remainder with a project financing loan," says Francesco Mascolo, head of communications at Centrobanca. The Italian bank will be responsible for identifying and appraising projects, which will be submitted to the EIB for approval. Centrobanca has helped to finance several important wind developments in Italy, acting as lead arranger on project financing loans provided to local developers, including Fortore Energia, Inergia, Erg Renew and Moncada Energy Group, as well as EDF Energies Nouvelles, the renewable energy arm of French utility EDF.