NIB and EIB commit to financing Ignitis Group’s Mažeikiai wind farm in Lithuania

  • 2023-12-15

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and UAB VVP Investment, part of Ignitis Group, have signed a financing agreement for the Mažeikiai onshore wind farm in Lithuania. Ignitis Group is a renewables-focused integrated utility and leading energy company in the Baltics.

Both NIB and the EIB have provided loans for the wind farm, contributing EUR 32 million each towards the total investment of around EUR 85 million. Citi will take on the role of agent, security agent and account bank in this transaction.

The 63 MW wind farm started commercial operations in August 2023. It consists of 14 wind turbines, with a combined estimated energy production capacity of more than 200 GWh a year. Located in the north-northwest of Lithuania on the border with Latvia, the wind farm is connected to the national grid.

The financing will not only support the European Union’s renewable energy objectives, but will also help Lithuania meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Assuming that the renewable electricity produced will replace energy generated with an average carbon footprint in the European Union, the greenhouse gas emissions avoided thanks to the wind park will amount to 61,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The wind farm will also contribute to Lithuania’s energy independence, reducing electricity imports that currently account for around two-thirds of its needs. Electricity produced by the wind farm will be sufficient to meet the consumption needs of 90,000 households.

“By leading the regional energy transition in Lithuania and the Baltics, we strive to create a 100% green and secure energy ecosystem. This will not be possible without the support of leading European financial institutions, hence we are grateful for the reliable cooperation with the EIB and NIB, which is vital for the success of our renewable energy projects,” said Ignitis Group CFO Jonas Rimavičius.

“As Lithuania is rapidly building up its sustainable energy production, our long-term financing for wind farm developments continues to speed up this journey. To unlock the full potential of renewables in our region, we look forward to accelerating further generation and transmission developments,” said NIB President and CEO André Küüsvek.

“The EU bank is delighted to sign this significant loan agreement, which will support the deployment of new renewable energy capacity in Lithuania,” added EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who is responsible for operations in Lithuania. “In addition to promoting energy independence, we are proud to contribute to Lithuania’s transformation into a low-carbon economy on its path to climate neutrality.”

About UAB VVP Investment / Ignitis Group

Ignitis Group is a renewables-focused integrated utility company. By developing a low-carbon generation portfolio with a focus on offshore wind, onshore wind and solar photovoltaic energy, Power-to-X and storage technologies while leveraging its integrated business model, the company plans to deliver 4-5 GW of installed green and flexible capacities by 2030. Ignitis Group is committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040-2050.

The borrower, UAB VVP Investment, is Ignitis Group’s subsidiary established for developing and operating the wind farm.

About NIB

NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The bank finances private and public projects in and outside the member countries. NIB has the highest possible credit rating, AAA/Aaa, with the leading rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

The bank has been operating in Lithuania since 1994, providing over EUR 1.6 billion in financing to more than 110 projects. In recent years, NIB has contributed to energy security and infrastructure improvements, municipal projects, renovation programmes and retail sector investments in Lithuania. Read more about NIB in Lithuania.

About the EIB

The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. In 2022, the EIB Group signed more than EUR 17 billion in new financing to support the EU energy transition. This record figure confirms the EU bank’s commitment to ensuring access to sustainable energy at a time of great uncertainty. Our investments are helping Europe weather the crisis triggered by the abrupt cut in gas supplies in the aftermath of Russia’s brutal and unjustified attack on Ukraine. The EIB has also earmarked EUR 45 billion in additional lending for projects aligned with the REPowerEU plan.

The EIB has financed projects in Lithuania totalling almost EUR 5 billion since 1993. Nearly EUR 303 million of EIB Group financing was signed for Lithuanian projects in 2022, mainly to support maritime infrastructure, small companies and innovation.