The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending up to EUR 71 million to Polish energy company TAURON Polska Energia SA for its investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Southern Poland, including the refurbishment of several hydropower plants.

TAURON Group is looking to expand its electricity distribution networks (around 11,000 new connections) and upgrade the existing equipment, which will predominantly serve to connect new customers to the distribution grid. The company will also roll out a smart metering pilot programme. Part of the loan from the EIB will also be used to increase the efficiency and generating capacity of a number of TAURON Group’s hydropower plants.

László Baranyay, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Poland, said: "The EIB, as the bank of the European Union, strongly promotes competitive and secure energy supply as well as energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with TAURON, as the project will ensure a secure supply to new customers through the expansion of the company’s electricity network and the roll-out of a smart metering pilot programme in line with EU requirements to support the development of smart grids. Together with other projects previously financed by the Bank in Poland, this also marks an important step towards increasing energy generation from renewables in Europe. At the same time this loan confirms the EIB’s commitment to the modernisation of the Polish energy sector, which is necessary for the successful economic development of the country".

This project is a continuation of the EIB’s successful cooperation with TAURON. Including the current loan, the Bank will have made four loans available to the company totaling EUR 416 million to support investment in the Polish energy sector, such as the construction of a new biomass-fired power unit at the Jaworzno III power plant.