BUCHAREST (Romania), January 6 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said it has provided a 90 million euro ($101.8 million) long-term loan to Romanian power supplier and distributor Electrica Group [BSE:EL] to upgrade electricity distribution networks, deploy smart meters and accelerate renewable energy connection.
The new investment will connect more than 180,000 new customers to the grid, increase network capacity and improve reliability and quality of electricity supply, EIB said in a press release on Wednesday.
"The latest 90 million euro financing agreed with Electrica reflects the rapid progress of the transformational initiative and shared commitment of the EIB and Electrica to unlock greater use of renewable energy," EIB vice-president responsible for energy and lending operations in Romania Christian Kettel-Thomsen said.
The 15-year loan was granted to Distribuie Energie Electrica Romania (DEER), a subsidiary of Electrica Group. The loan represents the second part of a 210 million euro EIB backing for Electrica's 300 million euro energy infrastructure investment plan that aims to modernise the local electricity distribution network, reduce power losses and improve overall network reliability.
"The latest European Investment Bank financing will allow Electrica to replace outdated assets, better cater the energy needs of our 3.8 million customers through rolling out advanced meters and accelerate Romania’s green transition," Electrica CEO Corina Popescu said.
Electrica Group's shares traded flat at 10.36 lei ($2.4/2.09 euro) at 1342 CET on Thursday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.