Endesa has signed a €500 million ($597 million) loan from the European Investment Bank to assist the company in upgrading its distribution grid. The project will be implemented over the next two years.
José Bogas, CEO of Endesa, Román Escolano, vice president of the EIB and Paolo Bondi, CFO of Endesa
The aim of the project is to boost the quality and efficiency of the company's electricity supply facilities, making them more environmentally friendly and sustainable, and expanding Endesa’s network of connections to renewable energy sources. Endesa's network currently carries electricity to over 12 million homes via 316,500 kilometres of power lines.
The company had previously announced it plans to invest a total of €2 billion ($2.4 billion) in the distribution business between 2017 and 2020 – some 11 percent more than was earmarked in the prior plan for the same period. Compared to the investment for the period 2018-2020, this represents a 29 percent increase.
The grid enhancements will be carried out in six Spanish regions; Aragon; the Balearic Islands; Catalonia; the Canary Islands; Andalusia and Extremadura. It is anticipated that over 17,500 jobs will be created during the project implementation phase.
The investment will allow Endesa to expand its customer network and bring the electricity supply to public transport. Improvements to the distribution network include the construction of new low voltage lines and the substitution of underground cables, to reduce both the environmental impact of infrastructures and the power cuts caused by falling trees and branches.
The investment by the EIB will also go towards increasing the automation of electrical infrastructures, improving the remote control of Endesa substations, which will also have new systems to detect leaks and unauthorized supply connections. The five control centers of the company's electrical network, located in Zaragoza, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, will be ready to operate at any point of the distribution network.
Endesa’s CEO, José Bogas, stressed that the EIB loan will help “boost the efficiency of distribution activities and increase the grid’s capacity to meet the demand for new energy services while enhancing the grid integration of renewable energies in the system.”
The loan, with a maximum term of 12 years forms part of the important support that the EIB provides for the financing of investments in infrastructures undertaken by the company.