All agreed loans

Sweden. European Spallation Source ERIC

Date of agreement: 29 Nov 2016
Country: Sweden
Customer: European Spallation Source ERIC
Amount in EUR: EUR 100.2 million
Maturity: 7 years
NACE sector / loan type: Real estate activities

This loan contributes to climate change mitigation: 100%


The loan has been provided for the construction of the European Spallation Source (ESS), a multidisciplinary research facility based on what will be the world’s most powerful neutron source in Lund, Sweden.

The ESS is one of the largest science and technology infrastructure projects currently being built, and will include the most powerful linear proton accelerator yet constructed, as well as a helium-cooled tungsten target wheel and 22 state-of-the-art neutron instruments. Further, the facility will house a suite of laboratories.

Construction began in 2014, and operations are expected to start in 2023. A supercomputing data management and software development centre, which will support the research conducted at the ESS facility in Lund, is located in Copenhagen.

The total approved investment cost for the project amounts to EUR 1.84 billion.

The European Spallation Source is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), established on 31 August 2015. Currently, the European Spallation Source ERIC has 12 member countries. Three observer countries are expected to join as full members in the near future. The host countries are Denmark and Sweden.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate


The ESS facility will provide beams up to 100 times more intense than all other existing neutron sources. This is expected to open up new material science research opportunities in the fields of life sciences, energy, environmental technology, telecommunications, cultural heritage and fundamental physics. Between 2,000 and 3,000 researchers a year will use the facility. Together with the MAX IV synchrotron radiation research lab in Lund, the ESS will form one of the largest materials research hubs in Europe and is expected to contribute to an internationally competitive research cluster.


Both the laboratory and service buildings for spallation (neutron emission) equipment in Lund and the facilities for data management in Copenhagen will be certified as “Excellent”, the second highest level of the BREEAM sustainability assessment method for buildings. During the construction process, the surrounding wetlands will be revived and an environmental assessment of all the construction material used will be conducted.

Sustainability summary

In accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code, ESS requires a formal ruling from the Swedish Environmental Court. For this purpose, ESS submitted an environmental impact assessment and a formal application to the EC in March 2012. The permit process for the project is a stepwise approach. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority will give each permit right before the respective project phase begins.

Press release

Europeiska spallationskällan får NIB-lån för materialforskning