News / 25.4.2024

EIB makes loan to replace Helsinki’s fossil-based heating plants with renewable energy

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 150 million loan agreement with Helen Ltd, a leading Finnish energy company wholly owned by the City of Helsinki, to finance two new renewable-energy projects in the district heating sector. The total investment amounts to EUR 209 million, with the EIB contributing 72% of the total.

The financing is to install a new heat pump plant and convert fuel use from coal to biomass pellets in one of Helen´s heating plants in Helsinki. As one of the largest energy companies in Finland, Helen serves more than half a million customers, providing electricity, district heating and cooling.

Helen aims to achieve 100% carbon neutrality in its energy production by 2030. The company is making significant investments in a sustainable and modern energy system and building capacity that replaces more than 2,000 MW of installed capacity of fossil energy production by 2025.

The investment is part of the EIB’s package of support for REPowerEU, the plan to reduce the European Union’s dependence on imports of fossil fuels.

“The financing will help replace fossil fuels with renewable fuels, which is one of the key targets of REPowerEU and one of the most impactful ways to deal with the current energy crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change,” says EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, responsible for EIB business in Finland. “As a first-time client, we are supporting Helen´s path to carbon neutrality and the transformation of Helsinki’s district heating systems.”

“EIB’s financing is a major step in Helen’s path towards carbon neutral energy production by 2030. We have made significant investments in the green transition over the past years and will continue do so in the future. In addition to contributing to climate change mitigation, the transformation from fossil-based energy production to renewable sources increases our energy self-sufficiency, adding to the reliability of energy supply in general,” says Helen’s CFO Timo Rajala.

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