The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided Euro 39 million in financing to AS Latvijas Finieris, a leading Latvian mid-cap manufacturer of birch plywood, for investments in research and development and to modernize and expand the integrated birch plywood production facility at Lignums and at Verems. The agreement comes under the Investment Plan for Europe supporting sustainable investment, innovation and job creation in Europe.
The project is fully aligned with EU policy to promote innovative mid-caps in support of the bioeconomy. Through this first loan agreement with the EIB, Latvijas Finieris is seeking to improve the efficient use of natural resources and aims to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, said: “I welcome this agreement with the EIB, which, backed by the EU budget guarantee, will support both Latvijas Finieris’ investments in research and development and its capacity expansion, while reducing its environmental footprint. Birch plywood manufacturing is an important sector in Latvia, with a key stake in the country’s labour market and global standing as a lead producer in the bioeconomy. We will continue to help businesses like Latvijas Finieris access the funding they need to keep on innovating, scale-up and foster job creation.”
“This agreement with Latvijas Finieris is a milestone in terms of EU support for a Latvian company,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who covers Latvia as part of his portfolio. “Latvijas Finieris is one of the most innovative companies in the sector with a good sustainability policy. The EIB will support much-needed investments in R&D, new production capacity and increased efficiency, helping to accelerate the transition to a green and sustainable economy.”
“Until now, our investments have been financed from the company’s funds through close and fruitful collaboration with commercial banks. Borrowing from an institutional lender such as the EIB is a new experience for us,” tells Pauls Ābele, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Latvijas Finieris. “The EIB loan repayment period is twice as long as what we have previously worked with. This facilitates decisions to invest in projects with a longer payback period, which green technologies, products and R&D often are. Cooperation with the EIB may increase the company’s ambitions for new projects and even business directions in the future.”