Investment Plan supports innovative electric power company in Spain

  • RDI investments will enable Spanish multinational to expand production and improve its competitiveness.
  • Climate action: project will contribute to energy transition by fostering development of safer and more efficient electrical systems.
  • Employment impact: investments will be carried out in Spain and help to create quality jobs.
  • Agreement is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe.

The European Investment Bank, EIB, is providing the Arteche Group with €27 million to finance its innovation strategy focusing on the development of new technologies, solutions and products for the electric power industry, and other investments to expand its productive assets.  The agreement is supported by the  Investment Plan for Europe and was signed in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Arteche Group CEO Alexander Artetxe.

The RDI investments financed by the EIB will be carried out over four years, up to 2023, at the company’s centres in Bilbao, Vitoria-Gazteiz and Madrid, and will help Arteche to grow its business by implementing an ambitious innovation programme aimed at developing innovative solutions that meet the challenges of transforming the electric power industry. Specifically, the company will develop new electronic solutions geared to digitalising the power grid and integrating renewable energy generation into the network.

The agreement will also support the company’s innovation strategy focusing on the design and manufacture of its range of products and solutions (instrument transformers, relays, reclosers, ACP), boosting efficiency, reliability and sustainability. These investments will enable the Arteche Group to modernise its digital infrastructure and innovate in the 800kV electric power sector, a segment in which very few companies operate at a global level. 

The project will have twofold climate action benefits.  Firstly, it will enable the Arteche Group to improve the efficiency and quality of its production processes.  And secondly, the new solutions and products developed by the company for the electric power sector will help to adapt electricity infrastructure to facilitate renewable energy generation, a key step in the transition to a low carbon energy model.  To implement its RDI strategy, the Arteche Group works permanently together with more than 15 universities, laboratories and technology centres in Europe. 

The Arteche Group will benefit from the favourable conditions of EIB financing in terms of both maturity periods and interest rates thanks to the Investment Plan for Europe, dubbed the Juncker Plan, which enables the EU bank to offer increased support for investments fostering innovation, economic growth and jobs. Specifically, this project will help to create quality jobs in the group’s plants in Spain.

Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, said:  “The electric power industry has a crucial role to play in the green transition, and that demands innovative solutions. That’s why the European Union is supporting Arteche in its efforts to develop safer, more efficient electrical systems. This investment will also help to create high-quality jobs in Spain”.

During the signing ceremony in Madrid, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, who is responsible for the Bank’s operations in Spain, said:“Supporting innovation and digitalisation is key to the transition to a new low-carbon economic model. As Europe’s climate bank, we are working to ensure that our companies have the necessary resources to invest in RDI strategies that foster this transformation while enhancing the productivity of our economies and boosting wealth and job creation.  We are therefore delighted to lend our support to a Spanish company that will be able use this backing to strengthen its competitiveness and contribute to Europe’s leadership in the electric power sector”.

“The electric power sector is in a period of transition, and in the Arteche Group we are putting our money on innovation as one of the keys to meeting the challenges facing us”, said Arteche Group CEO Alexander Artetxe. “The growth in electricity demand, the electrification of the economy, the drive for renewable energy and digitalisation are transforming power grids throughout the world. This is a time of great opportunities, and to take advantage of them we are dedicating major efforts to a range of R&D projects that we are not tackling alone”.

The EIB-Arteche Group agreement was signed under the Loans for Mid-caps in Spain and Portugal programme, a dedicated EIB financing facility for mid-caps (firms with up to 3 000 employees). Thanks to the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe, this credit line enables the EIB to support investment in projects that have a higher risk profile, owing to their structure or nature, but contribute to boosting growth and employment.

The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives.

The EIB is among the world’s largest multilateral providers of climate finance. Its goal is to be a leader in mobilising the finance needed to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to preindustrial levels in order to meet the Paris Agreement objectives. On 14 November 2019, the EIB Board of Directors approved its new climate objectives and the new energy lending policy. The Bank will gradually increase its financing for climate and environmental objectives up to 50% by 2025, with the goal of ensuring that the EIB Group mobilises at least EUR 1tn in the critical decade between 2021 and 2030 to promote investments helping to meet these objectives. It also announced its intention to align all EIB Group activities with the Paris Agreement. To this end, the EIB will cease financing fossil fuel-based projects from late 2021.

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees enabling the EIB to invest in more, often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise more than €450.6bn in investment – including €49.5bn in Spain – supporting over 1 million start-ups and SMEs across the 28 EU Member States. Juncker Plan-supported investments have increased the EU’s GDP by 0.9% and created an additional 1.1 million jobs compared to the reference scenario. By 2022, the Juncker Plan will have increased EU GDP by 1.8% and have created 1.7 million additional jobs.

More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.

About the Arteche Group

With nearly 75 years of experience in the electric power industry, the Arteche Group offers high-tech solutions and equipment, including the full range of instrument transformers, auxiliary relays, protection, measuring and control equipment, substation automation systems, energy quality and smart grid solutions. The company has a turnover of €300m and 1 800 employees.

Arteche, which is headquartered in Bilbao and has a presence in 13 countries, is an international benchmark in the sector, with teams operating in more than 150 countries focusing on generation, transmission and distribution grids, and companies in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania.