Sweden. European Spallation Source ERIC

Date of agreement:31 May 2021
Customer:European Spallation Source ERIC
Amount in SEK:SEK 507.5 million
Amount in EUR:EUR 50 million
Maturity:8 years
NACE sector / loan type:Real estate activities


NIB provides a loan for the initial operations of the European Spallation Source (ESS), a multilateral and multidisciplinary research facility based on the world’s most powerful neutron source.

ESS is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with Sweden and Denmark as host countries and a total of 13 member countries. The research facility itself is being built in Lund, Sweden, and its data centre (Data Management and Software Centre) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Researchers at ESS will be able to use neutrons to study materials and in the long run gain knowledge that can be used to develop new materials in, among other things, aerospace technology, engines, plastics, energy, telecommunications, transport, information technology, life science and biotechnology.

The construction and operation of the ESS are divided into three overlapping phases: 1) construction, 2) initial operation, which includes instrumentation, installation, and commissioning, and 3) steady state operations. The steady state operations are scheduled to start in 2025.

According to its Statutes, the ESS is to be financed by contributions from its 13 member states. NIB’s loan to the project can be described as bridge financing.

In 2016, NIB signed a EUR 100 million bridge loan for the construction phase. In 2018, NIB signed   a loan of EUR 30 million for the construction of the ESS Campus through a loan to SKR Spallation AB.

The European Spallation Source is a pan-European multi-disciplinary research facility with 13 European nations as members, including the host nations Sweden and Denmark.

The founding documents were signed in 2011. The host countries are Denmark and Sweden. In addition to the main Scientific Research Facility in Lund, an ESS Data Management and Software Centre is in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate

The ESS will be used for applied physics and helping to develop and discover new materials. The facility is expected to push the frontiers of neutron science and will, together with MAX IV, form the largest research infrastructure in Europe, contributing to leading-edge science and technology outputs.

By concentrating on science, technology, talent and industry, a number of benefits and synergies are highly likely to drive innovation and contribute to an internationally competitive cluster focused on material science research.

The facility will promote innovation, interdisciplinary research, and knowledge management in collaboration between the government, academia and private business.

The number of researchers with access to the facility is estimated at around 5,000 annually and comes in addition to several industrial users.

Sustainability summary


In accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code, the ESS requires a formal ruling from the Swedish Environmental Court. Currently, the ESS has a building permit, and in May 2016 the application for the permit for installation of the equipment was submitted. All relevant permits are in place. The permit process for the project is a stepwise approach. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority will give each permit consent before the respective project phase begins.


Press release

NIB signs loan with ESS for materials science research

Press release

NIB indgår aftale om lån til ESS for materialevidenskabelig forskning

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