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Finland’s second-largest utility gets EIB backing on grid modernization

Powerlines
Finnish utility Elenia will be leveraging a 100 million ($108 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernize its grid network.

Elenia will use the loan to improve the security of supply by replacing overhead cables with underground lines. The utility will replace substations and transformers with smart models as well as weatherproof its energy distribution network.

The project will help the energy provider to reduce the number and duration of outages. More than 50% of the network is now underground and to meet the targets of the Electricity Market Act, Elenia aims to increase the underground cabling rate of the electricity distribution network to 75% by 2028.

The loan follows a €150 million ($163 million) facility signed in 2018.

Tommi Valento, the CFO of Elenia, said: “In these troubled times it is very important that Elenia can continue its capex program as planned. We need to try to keep the economy functioning to avoid companies going into financial distress and unemployment rising. The execution of capex program brings substantial work for our contractor partners and their subcontractors.”

The utility has operations in more than 100 municipalities with approximately 67,600 km of distribution network.

This article was originally published on Smart Energy International and was republished with permission.