Financial institutions reaffirm their strong support for ESS

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Thomas Östros, Vice-President EIB, André Küüsvek, President NIB, and Magnus Montan, CEO SEK, and other guests are welcomed to ESS by Kevin Jones, Acting Director General. Photo: ESS/Roger Eriksson

ESS is a large research infrastructure project that relies not only on technological and scientific collaboration with research institutes and laboratories all over the world, but also on timely financial support.

The financial institutions European Investment Bank (EIB), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), and Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), which support the research facility through a credit line, visited ESS in Lund yesterday.

The delegations from the three banks, headed by Thomas Östros, Vice-President EIB, André Küüsvek, President NIB, and Magnus Montan, CEO SEK, were welcomed to ESS by Kevin Jones, Acting Director General, and Kurt Clausen, Vice Chair of the European Spallation Source ERIC Council, as well as other ESS representatives. Lars Börjesson and Bo Smith attended during the visit, as Council members for the host countries Sweden and Denmark, respectively.

site tour - bank visit

Kevin Jones took the visitors on an extensive guided tour of the site

Photo: ESS/Julia Öberg

“ESS’s unique research capacity creates a wide range of new opportunities in the fields of life sciences, energy and environmental technology, which are also priority objectives for the EIB," said Thomas Östros, EIB Vice-President. “As ESS gets closer to completion, we are proud to have supported the project from the beginning and are happy to continue our commitment to this landmark achievement of European scientific effort.”

The ESS member states contribute cash to the organisation at different intervals and times during the year. These payments do not fully coincide with ESS’s liquidity needs for the construction and initial operations of the research infrastructure. For this reason, the three financial institutions together provide ESS with a line of credit, which in total amounts to MEUR 500. This enables ESS to continue construction and initial operations according to plan, avoiding disruptions in payments and costly delays due to an uneven cash flow.

“ESS brings the expertise of 13 European countries together to create a unique research infrastructure to enhance European research and innovation capacity,“ said Kurt Clausen, Vice Chair of the European Spallation Source ERIC Council. “The support from the three investment banks NIB, SEK, and EIB has been decisive in securing liquidity at all times, and driving the project forward in the most efficient and cost effective way.”

For the first time since before the pandemic, representatives from the three banks visited the ESS site to see how the construction of the facility is proceeding. After a general overview on the ESS project by Kevin Jones, the visitors were taken on an extensive guided tour of the site.

The bank representatives expressed how happy they are to support the large-scale research infrastructure, and were impressed by the substantial progress made in the civil construction and installation works at ESS, despite the significant impact on the project caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.

“ESS is a fascinating state-of-the-art research facility that will be the most advanced in its field,” said NIB President André Küüsvek. “The beauty of ESS is that so many different countries got together, from Spain in the South to Estonia in the North, to cooperate on this research infrastructure project”.

Bank visit guided tour

Mark Anthony, ESS Project Director, heps show the delegations from the three banks around ESS

Photo: ESS/Julia Öberg