EIB and Šiaulių bankas renew support for urban renewal in Lithuania
Continuing their longstanding cooperation, AB Šiaulių bankas and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed two new agreements to support the refurbishment and modernisation of multi-apartment buildings in Lithuania with an additional EUR 110 million under the Jessica II fund, EUR 70 million of which is contributed by Šiaulių bankas.
The “Jessica II” fund, managed by the EIB, supports energy efficiency modernisation of residential buildings under the Lithuanian government's “Multi-apartment buildings Modernisation (Renovation) Programme”. This is the second agreement with Šiaulių bankas as the selected financial intermediary under the 2014-2020 EU regulations for Decentralised Financial Instruments. Under this agreement Šiaulių bankas will disburse EUR 80 million in preferential loans to home owners. Half of this amount (i.e. EUR 40 million) will be made available from Šiaulių bankas’ own funds.
Under the agreement signed last month, Šiaulių bankas made available an additional EUR 30 million of its own funds for housing renovation loans. Through the two new agreements, Šiaulių bankas will soon be able to finance the renovation of an additional 400 multi-apartment buildings in total.
Šiaulių bankas’ head of administration Vytautas Sinius said: “The successful partnership with the EIB and our longstanding commitment to financing renovation projects allows us to significantly contribute towards the country’s energy efficiency targets as well as the development of cities and businesses in all its regions. The renovation process involves the companies administrating the projects and the construction companies alike, a considerable number of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. These processes cultivate the prosperity of residents and businesses, which is one of the most important aims of Šiaulių bankas.”
EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori, responsible for operations in the Baltic countries, added: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Šiaulių bankas in implementing the “Jessica II” programme. Šiaulių bankas was crucial in ensuring the smooth continuation of the programme last year by providing their own funds. In this way it has helped to guarantee the programme’s ability to meet the ever growing demand for housing refurbishment in Lithuania. Urban renewal is high on the EIB’s agenda and the success of this programme is an example for other countries as well.”
Housing renovation, which is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, has gained traction across the whole country. According to the Housing Energy Efficiency Agency, currently 784 renovation projects are undergoing works, for a combined worth of circa EUR 245 million. Most active in the renovation process are the regions of Ignalina, Druskininkai, Molėtai, Anykščiai, Jonava and Kelmė.
Lithuanian Minister of Environment Kęstutis Trečiokas said: “The vastly increased scale of the multi-apartment building renovation in the country, which was not anticipated even by the biggest optimists, demands to pool our every effort so that our old houses would be reborn for a new life – would become comfortable, beautiful and economical in terms of energy efficiency. However, finding the necessary financial resources is not so simple and thus all additional funds are especially important. This is why we are so glad with the recently signed agreement between the EIB and Šiaulių bankas.“
The European Investment Bank (EIB) 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 goals. In 2015, the EIB provided loans in Lithuania totalling EUR 474 million, with the energy and transport sectors as two of the main beneficiaries.
Šiaulių bankas is the leader of multi-apartment building modernisation in the Lithuania. Until now the bank has signed 1,025 credit agreements for EUR 228 million, and it has preliminary agreed to finance an additional 335 projects worth EUR 96 million. Šiaulių bankas was the first partner of European Investment Bank in Lithuania in providing preferential loans for modernisation, and is also the first financial institution to contribute its own funds to this successful programme, providing EUR 120 million.