Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2013

Greentown Curaçao teams up with the European Investment Bank – EIB

GreentownWILLEMSTAD - GreenTown Curaçao is a new eco-friendly initiative with a mission. GreenTown would like to replace the heavily polluting oil refinery on Curaçao with a lively green waterfront city that will create more than 16,000 new jobs, significantly increase government revenues, and be powered solely by sustainable energy sources. In the future, this new city will provide tens of thousands of people with the opportunity to find clean and sustainable jobs and housing.

The refinery is owned by the state-run enterprise Refineria di Kòrsou, and operated under lease by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) until 2019, but neither have identified a third investor to provide the $3 billion needed to modernize the 100-year-old decaying refinery.

The €5 billion cost of GreenTown is consistent with the priorities established for the European Investment Bank’s lending activity for their Overseas Countries and Territories portfolio. As Europe’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the European Investment Bank provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects that contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. While more than 90% of EIB’s activity is focused on Europe, they also implement the financial aspects of the European Union's external development policies. Curaçao falls within that scope, and the European Investment Bank will play a significant role in the development of GreenTown.

While the vast majority of EIB’s financing is through loans, they also offer guarantees, microfinance, and equity investment. EIB support will also help unlock financing from other sources, particularly from the EU budget. These sources will be combined with private investment to form the full financing package. EIB also provides borrowers with administrative and project management assistance, which facilitates the investment of funds to implement the project. We emphatically like to reiterate that NO government funds are needed to build GreenTown.

The EIB supports projects that make a significant contribution to growth, employment, and environmental sustainability, as well as social and economic cohesion in Europe and beyond its borders.

EIB priorities, as defined in their Operational Plan, are:

• Supporting the creators of 80% of new jobs (small and medium sized enterprises SMEs)
• Addressing economic and social imbalances between the regions (cohesion)
• Protecting and improving the natural and urban environment (environmental sustainability)
• Promoting innovation through investment in ICT and human and social capital (innovation)
• Linking regional and national infrastructure of transport and energy (Trans-European Networks)
• Supporting a competitive and secure energy supply (sustainable energy)

All of the projects that the EIB finances must not only be financially viable, but also comply with strict economic, technical, environmental, and social standards. EIB’s corps of 300 engineers and economists screen every project, before, during, and after they finance the project

In June of this year, EIB in Luxembourg reviewed the plans for GreenTown Curaçao in detail with, which has resulted in receiving their Letter of Support for the project today. This demonstrates that GreenTown Curaçao has met their strict criteria. We cannot think of a better institution than the European International Bank to lend a hand in helping make GreenTown a reality.

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