Timo Rajala, CFO at Helen Ltd and André Küüsvek, NIB President & CEO

16 Dec 2022

NIB and Helen sign sustainability-linked loan

NIB and the Finnish utilities company Helen Ltd have signed a 10-year, EUR 150 million sustainability-linked loan. The loan is linked to Helen’s climate targets to reduce carbon intensity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations.

Helen is the first Finnish energy company that has its emission reduction targets officially approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to be in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. From the base year 2019 to 2030, the company is committed to reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from electricity and heat generated, as well as to reduce Scope 1 and 3 GHG emissions from electricity and heat sold by 77% per MWh.

“The energy sector is one of the main contributors to climate change, but also a key combatant against it. By linking financing to ambitious, science-based climate targets, Helen underlines their commitments towards sustainable transition,” says André Küüsvek, NIB President and CEO.

NIB and Helen have agreed on two key performance indicators (KPIs) based on carbon intensity and the absolute GHG emissions to be achieved. The performance will be measured at the end of 2026 and 2030 for loan price adjustments:

  • Carbon intensity target of electricity and heat sold of 129 kgCO2e per MWh to be achieved by the end of 2026
  • Carbon intensity target of electricity and heat sold of 58 kgCO2e per MWh to be achieved by the end of 2030
  • Absolute GHG emissions target of 1,602 ktCO2e to be achieved by the end of 2026
  • Absolute GHG emissions target of 720 ktCO2e to be achieved by the end of 2030

If achieved, such targets will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 2,575,000 tCO2eq. Moreover, the investments in renewable energy production and storage facilities will also increase the security of supply and relieve the pressure on heating prices.

“Helen has already taken and will continue to take giant steps towards a sustainable energy system. By 2024, Helen will cease using coal in its heating and cooling system in Helsinki, and by 2026, it will produce 8% of Finland’s electricity production and the production will be emission free. Operational cash-flow and strong balance sheet are the building blocks to make this change happen. After receiving the official approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for our emission reduction targets, as the first Finnish energy company, it feels exciting to welcome NIB on board and to facilitate financing based upon these SBTs”, comments Timo Rajala, CFO, Helen Ltd.

Helen Ltd is an energy production and distribution company owned by the City of Helsinki. The company provides district heating and cooling in the Helsinki region and sells electricity to approximately 600,000 customers throughout Finland. In addition, Helen offers solutions for regional and renewable energy, smart buildings and electric transport.

NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The Bank finances private and public projects in and outside the member countries. NIB has the highest possible credit rating, AAA/Aaa, with the leading rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

For further information, please contact
Kari Jaukkuri, Senior Banker, Utilities, at +358 10 618 0237, Kari.Jaukkuri@nib.int
Vytautas Brazaitis, Communications Officer, at +358 10 618 0235, Vytautas.Brazaitis@nib.int

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16 Dec 2022

Helen Ltd

EUR 150 million