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Helios Gets EUR 20.4M Loan for R&D Project

Domzale, 02 September (STA) - Paints and varnishes maker Helios acquired on Thursday a EUR 20.4m loan for the next 10 years from state-owned export and development bank SID for the financing of a project developing new water-based car paint.

The loan agreement was signed today by Helios head Marko Vresk and SID chairman Sibil Svilan.

The deal comes after SID offered to finance development projects in car industry with funds from the European Investment bank (EIB) and other sources, Helios said in today's press release.

The project aims to develop a system for mixing paints used in car repairs. It includes 10,000 different sets of instructions for various colour shades and car brands and a computer-led weighing programme.

As part of the project, Helios has already started building a new research and educational centre, which will house a state-of-the-art lab. The centre should be opened by the end of the year, while the production of new paints will get under way in a new production facility.

SID has so far allocated EUR 210.6m for development projects in car industry, EUR 130m of which was contributed by EIB. The money went to 14 companies for the financing of 27 projects and 31 patents or innovations which will lower CO2 emissions by some 4.7m tonnes at the annual level.

Since autumn 2008, SID also allocated over EUR 2bn for boosting Slovenia's economy.

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