Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (214)

Michael McGrath

Question:

214. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the projects here that have benefitted to date from the European Fund for Strategic Investments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31355/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Since the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)'s enactment in July 2015, it has been possible for any project promoter, either public or private, to engage with the EIB regarding the possibility of receiving loans or guarantees under EFSI for particular projects.

In this way, EFSI is providing an important additional funding possibility to the State alongside other possibilities such as the EIB's normal lending, the State's borrowings through the NTMA and other mechanisms such as PPPs and off-balance sheet vehicles. It should be remembered that each EFSI loan entered into by the State pre-commits funding for the repayment of such loans, and has to be considered in the context of the expenditure benchmark under the EU's fiscal rules.

In general, Government Departments have existing relationships with the EIB so it has been a matter for each Department concerned to advance the projects in coordination with the Government's Capital Plan as coordinated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Department of Finance has no role in assessing projects either public or private which may be the subject of applications for EFSI loans/guarantees.

I can inform the Deputy that there is a publicly available list of projects which have been approved for EFSI support by the EIB in the State (https://www.eib.org/en/efsi/efsi-projects/index.htm?c=IE&se=). I have attached a spreadsheet containing lists of signed, approved and pre-approved projects for your convenience.

According to the above mentioned website, there have been 33 transactions covering €1.5bn of approved EFSI financing and €7.1bn expected investment related to EFSI in Ireland since inception. I would ask the Deputy to be aware, however, that the Irish list contains both private and public sector projects, and it also includes cross-border projects between Irish entities and entities in other Member States. On the other hand, the list may not reflect Irish private sector project promoters participating in a project that could receive funding from EFSI loans/guarantees but which is led or based in another EU Member State.

EFSI