Borealis: EIB loan for development of circular economy solutions for plastics

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Borealis have closed a benchmark financing agreement that supports the Borealis research, development and innovation (RDI) programme in the circular economy sphere. The EIB will provide a EUR 250 million loan supporting the company’s multi-year investment programme in the area of plastics circularity, in line with its objectives to support innovation, climate action and sustainability. The loan enables Borealis to intensify the development of new polyolefins-based circular solutions at its Innovation Centres in Austria, Sweden and Finland. Polyolefins produced by the company are used in a wide range of applications in consumer products, packaging, power transmission cabling, and industrial and construction materials.

Borealis said it aims to make its own core business more circular. The circular economy is one of three key areas in the new Borealis 2035 Group Strategy which was announced earlier in 2020. The company said it has been at the forefront of industry efforts to accelerate the transformation to a circular economy of plastics. Its Borstar, Borlink and Borceed technologies have recently been extended by Borcycle, a technology that enables the production of high-quality recycled polyolefins (rPOs), and the Bornewables, a portfolio of circular polyolefins produced with renewable feedstock derived entirely from waste and residue streams. Borealis said it has already begun working with value chain partners in recent years to develop and launch innovative, value-adding circular solutions in a variety of industries, including energy, automotive and consumer packaging. The company said it also aims to integrate an ever larger share of recycled plastics in its products.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and owned by its Member States. It provides long-term capital and advisory support for sound investments that contribute towards EU policy goals. The European Investment Bank Group is one of the largest public supporters of innovation in the European Union. Since 2000, the group has invested over EUR 210 billion in innovation and skills in the European Union and beyond in order to advance innovation and address the social and economic challenges of today and tomorrow. To help tackle climate change, the EIB Group will also aim to support EUR 1 trillion of investments in climate action and environmental sustainability in the critical decade from 2021 to 2030. This also includes circular economy projects. Over the past five years (2015 – 2019), the EIB has provided around EUR 2.5 billion in loans to co-finance more than 100 circular projects, and stands ready to do more to help meet the lending needs of the circular economy transition.

“We are exceedingly pleased to be able to boost our research and innovation activities in Europe thanks to the EIB,” said Alfred Stern, Borealis CEO. “It is good to have strong partners who share our belief in the importance of re-inventing for more sustainable living.”

“The promotion of circular solutions in the polyolefins industry is aligned with our goals to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, including for plastics, and to support cutting-edge innovation,” explained Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President. “We are happy to continue and intensify our collaboration with Borealis AG by signing our largest transaction together so far. As the EU’s climate bank, we are eager to support private sector partners that are committed to environmental sustainability.”