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The European Investment Bank has issued €125 million ($146.3 million) loan for the development of a new power generation plant in Greece.

The funding will be used by Greek-based industrial conglomerate Mytilineos S.A.to construct an 826MW power plant.

The project is expected to enable the phasing out of Lignite power generation in Greece by 2023. Lignite currently accounts for 4GW of power generation in Greece, 22% of total capacity in the country.

The Agios Nikolaos power plant requires €322 million ($376.9 million) in total as part of efforts to ensure energy supply security and to expand the portfolio of flexible generation to support a growing share of intermittent renewables in the Greek electricity network.

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The new Agios Nikolaos power plant will be the most efficient gas power plant in Greece, will use state of the art Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) technology and is expected to generate absolute carbon emissions of 320 gCO2 / kWh. This is within the European Investment Bank’s emission performance standard of 550 gCO2 / kWh in place when the project was approved.

Evangelos Mytilineos, the CEO of Mytilineos SA, said: “The importance and vision of the Agios Nikolaos power plant to contribute to a cleaner energy future for Greece has been recognised by EIB’s first ever loan to Mytilineos. The new long-term EIB loan shows how the EU Bank supports transformational investment in this country.”

Christos Staikouras, the minister of finance of the Hellenic Republic, said: “The European Investment Bank has unique technical and financial expertise in the energy sector and is a valuable partner to enable Greece to deliver on climate goals and move away from lignite use by 2028. We welcome the EIB’s recognition of the importance of supporting the energy transition in Greece and the new support for the Agios Nikolaos facility.”

Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank vice president responsible for lending operations in Greece, reiterates: “The European Investment Bank is supporting energy transition in Greece. As part of the EIB Energy Lending Policy agreed in 2019, we committed to supporting a pipeline of gas projects already under appraisal, before moving to renewables-only lending from 2021.  

“That’s why EIB is pleased to provide EUR 125 million to Mytilineos S.A. to support Greece’s energy security.  The EIB looks forward to working together with Mytilienos and other leading energy project partners to support future clean energy investment across Greece.”