The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing the innovation and development strategy that Velatia will drive forward in the electrical energy sector. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Velatia’s CEO, Javier Ormazabal, today signed a EUR 32.5 million finance agreement that will enable the firm to incorporate new digital technologies into the products that it develops for electricity networks. The EU bank is providing this loan under the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan.
Velatia is an industrial group that operates in two main areas: electricity distribution networks, via the firm Ormazabal, and telecommunications, headed by Ikusi. The EIB loan will enable the company, which is headquartered in Bilbao and has a presence in 19 countries, to improve its competitiveness in the face of the changes taking place in the energy sector. Ormazabal will drive forward projects in the areas of the automisation and digitisation of power grids, as well as the development of patents and products that enable it to enter new markets and gain new customers.
This EIB support for Ormazabal’s RDI programme will also have environmental benefits, helping to achieve the EU’s goal of decarbonising the energy system. Specifically, the project will make it possible to adapt the electricity distribution networks to a renewable and well-distributed energy mix and the electrification of transport. These aims will be achieved by developing technologies incorporating new electromechanical equipment and electronic hardware, communications systems provided with new cyber-security solutions and innovative power grid management software.
This agreement will help to safeguard quality employment and create new jobs in the firm’s RDI division. The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects that have particular value added and a higher risk profile owing to their structure or nature.
“This loan makes clear the EIB’s firm commitment to supporting innovation by firms operating in highly competitive sectors that consequently need heavy investment to secure their future” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro at the signing ceremony. “We are therefore delighted to be signing an agreement that will benefit both the Spanish and the European economy by facilitating the development of new power sector products that will boost competitiveness and contribute to climate action”.
“Our commitment to RDI is part of Velatia and of course Ormazabal’s DNA. We are facing different challenges that at the same time represent opportunities, and this is why we are committed to digitisation and sustainability as marks of our identity. The working areas in which Ormazabal is engaged are therefore energy efficiency and the development of technologies that enable achievement of the decarbonisation objectives set for Europe”, said Javier Ormazabal, Velatia’s CEO.
Innovation and skills development are fundamental ingredients for ensuring sustainable growth and quality job creation. Both play a key role in achieving long-term competitiveness. Financing innovation is therefore one of the EIB’s top priorities. In 2017, the EU bank provided EUR 13.8 billion for financing different RDI projects.
In Spain alone, last year the EIB supported the innovation projects of Spanish businesses with loans worth EUR 1.446 billion. This figure represents a 67% increase on its lending in this sector the previous year. Overall, the EIB Group dedicated 13% of its financing in Spain to promoting corporate RDI.
Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)