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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €330 million to the Czech energy utility CEZ to finance an investment programme for the extension, reinforcement and modernisation of the electricity distribution network in nine regions.

CEZ will use the funding to reinforce and refurbish medium and low-voltage networks in Plzeň, Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Central Bohemia, Liberec, Hradec Králové, Pardubice, Olomouc and Moravia-Silesia.

The utility will also install automation and tele-control systems, install 4 160 km of new overhead and underground lines, refurbish 2 475 km of lines and add 861 MVA of transformer capacity.

 “The project will boost the network’s capacity and will make it fit to integrate more electricity from renewable energy sources, thereby fostering the move from centralised to de-centralised electricity generation. This is not only good news for households and companies, but it’s also important groundwork in our fight against climate change,” commented EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova

“The EIB has been a trusted financing partner of CEZ for the last 10 years. Cooperation with the EIB has allowed CEZ to diversify its sources of funding by complementing traditional debt capital markets without compromising its desire for financing with long maturities. I am very pleased that this particular loan will facilitate investments supporting decentralised electricity generation in the Czech Republic,” commented CEZ Chief Finance Officer Martin Novák.