CEB to provide €145 million to support environmental protection and MSMEs in Portugal

18 June 2018

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved two loans of €100 million and €45 million respectively to support social investments in the areas of MSME financing and protection of the environment in Portugal. 

The €45 million loan is to Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-estruturas do Alqueva (EDIA) to finance the installation of 10 floating solar plants, which will cover the needs of 10 pumping stations of irrigation systems in South-East Portugal. The solar plants will be used to turn solar energy into green energy, and are expected to reduce significantly the energy costs and carbon footprint of EDIA.

The project, which is complementary to the CEB-financed investments of Portugal’s National Irrigation Programme (NIP), will lead to more diversified and competitive agricultural production, the sustainable expansion of irrigated area, and the creation of new jobs in areas where there are no or few employment opportunities. 

The €100 million loan to Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) to provide micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) throughout Portugal with access to financing for productive investments and working capital. 

Despite being considered the backbone of the Portuguese economy, MSMEs often encounter obstacles to accessing financing or the financing cost is too high, which hinders their development and growth. 

The IFD focuses on mobilising funds to support the financing needs of Portuguese MSMEs, addressing in particular issues related to financing constraints. The loan provided by the CEB will strengthen the sustainability, energy efficiency and growth of MSMEs and support, among others, viable businesses which have successfully completed a restructuring plan. It will create new jobs, contribute to the promotion of social cohesion across the country, and help to reduce the income gap between urban and rural areas.  

Portugal has been a CEB member since 1976. The Bank has been contributing to the implementation of the country’s social policies, financing investments in the areas of social housing, urban development, environmental protection, health and education infrastructure, support for small and medium-sized businesses, and assistance to the victims of natural disasters. The CEB is also supporting the social integration of migrants and refugees in the country.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.