New investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and urban development projects across Greece will be supported following the first agreement under a new €650m (~£580m) infrastructure investment initiative

The National Bank of Greece is the first partner bank under the Infrastructure Fund of Funds and will identify and invest in new development projects expected to include wind and photovoltaic parks, biomass and biogas plants, energy efficiency in public and company buildings.

Urban schemes intended to rehabilitate deprived districts and as well as water and waste management and tourism are also expected to benefit.

In addition, the National Bank of Greece will provide own funds and help mobilise additional private funds for the financing of these development projects. Other leading banks active in Greece are also expected to become partners under the Infrastructure Fund of Funds.

The Hellenic Ministry of Economy and Development established the Infrastructure Fund of Funds with the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the aim of maximising the impact of European Structural and Investment Funds, along with national funds sourced from an EIB loan and proceeds from previous urban investment under the JESSICA initiative.

Once fully operational the new infrastructure scheme will provide financing of €450m (£401m) unlocking total investments of at least €650m for sustainable projects in the priority sectors. The European Structural and Investment Fund contribution comes from the Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020.

Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank vice president (Greece), said: “Local investment is essential to harness renewable energy, cut energy use and improve urban areas and unlock projects that have been delayed in recent years.

“The Infrastructure Fund of Funds combines financial resources and technical expertise essential for priority and high impact investment. The European Investment Bank is pleased to work with National Bank of Greece, the first partner under this new initiative, and we look forward to scaling up the programme in the coming months.”

Paul Mylonas, CEO of National Bank of Greece, added: “The Infrastructure Fund of Funds agreement will further strengthen our long-standing cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group.

“Providing financing solutions for infrastructure that also foster sustainable development and inclusive growth is a key element of the National Bank of Greece’s strategy. This agreement reinforces our strategy and underlines our unequivocal commitment in supporting the transition to a greener economy, focused on the protection of the environment and the promotion of resource efficiency while creating new jobs and supporting the country’s economic recovery.”

The National Bank of Greece and the European Investment Bank, which will manage the new fund, agreed details of the first €32m component to be made available for investment.

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