Strong year for EIB Group financing in Slovenia

Source: 2/2/2024, Location: Europe

EIB Group signed €359 million in new commitments for projects in Slovenia in 2023, promoting sustainable transport and the path towards decarbonisation and sustainability
Strong focus on financing the green transition with electricity grid and railway infrastructure upgrades
EIB Investment Survey shows that shortage of skilled staff, high energy costs, and future uncertainty are major obstacles for companies

The European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group) has announced a strong year of financing for projects in Slovenia in 2023, with a total of €359 million in new commitments. The operations will support growth and sustain jobs during a challenging period for the Slovenian and EU economy. Out of this total volume, the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the EIB Group, entered into two guarantee agreements for an overall amount of €67 million.

In 2023, the EIB marked significant milestones in its operations in Slovenia, approving and signing key projects to enhance the country's infrastructure. Among the major operations signed was the financing of a strategic railway project in the country, the Divaca-Koper Second Rail Track, with a €250 million loan – highlighting the EIB's commitment to strategic infrastructure development and cleaner transportation contributing to reduced CO2 emissions.

In the energy sector, the EIB's collaboration with regional companies in the electricity distribution sector demonstrates our support to strengthen the electricity grid, which is a key enabler of the energy transition. A €42 million loan signed with Elektro Primorska aligns well with our mission to bolster the region's energy infrastructure while adhering to the highest sustainability standards.

‘’We are currently working with several other operators in the country and expect to provide further financing to the electricity distribution sector this year too. Further to this, in 2024 we are also working to deliver financing for projects in other sectors – including sustainable transport, energy efficiency and affordable housing. In the energy, manufacturing and industrial sectors, we are intensifying collaboration with the private sector to foster the growth of private companies in Slovenia and the wider region.’’ said EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris.

As to the new EIF guarantee agreements, these two transactions are expected to enable at least €100 million of financing to reach Slovenian SMEs, supporting their sustainable investments, innovation, and digitalisation. These transactions were made possible thanks to the InvestEU programme.

EIB Investment Survey for Slovenia

The EIB also released today its annual Investment Survey (EIBIS). The survey underscores the impact of climate change on Slovenian firms, with a substantial 68% reporting adverse effects from weather events. This percentage exceeds the EIBIS 2022 results (55%) and closely aligns with the EU average (64%). Moreover, the survey illuminates persistent challenges impeding long-term investment for Slovenian businesses. The top three barriers identified include the availability of skilled staff (88%), high energy costs (85%), and future uncertainty (80%). Notably, the recruitment of skilled personnel remains a significant obstacle for 62% of the surveyed firms. The survey indicates that these challenges persist, with figures consistently remaining within a five-point range of the EIBIS 2022 results. Please see the full survey here.

Background information
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It finances sound investment that contributes towards EU policy goals, including social and territorial cohesion, competitiveness, innovation, sustainable development and the just, swift transition to net zero. The EIB has committed €7.3 billion in total financing for projects in Slovenia since the start of its operations in the country.

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