Massive investment. | DANIEL NOVOTNY

Spain will put out to tender in the first half of 2022 projects worth up to 24.6 billion euros funded by the European Union recovery programme, a government source directly managing the plan said this afternoon.

After Italy, Spain is the second largest beneficiary of the 750 billion euro kitty set up to help the bloc's 27 countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, securing a total allocation of 70 billion euros.

Around 19.7 million euros were earmarked for public projects in 2021, though they were mostly issued towards the end of the year so they are largely still unawarded.
Spain has pinned significant hopes on the funds bolstering its tourism-dependent economy and had anticipated the roll-out would be quicker, so projected a GDP growth rate for 2021 of 6.5% though it eventually came in at 5%. The official forecast for 2022 is 7% growth, assuming the roll-out of the funds.

Up to 27.6 billion of EU recovery funds have been channeled through one of the largest budgets in Spanish history for 2022, with most due to be paid out in the first half of the year, according to the source.

The focus of the funds will be directed to sustainability and digitalisation projects. A total of 2.9 billion to kick-start the production of electric vehicles and batteries will be tendered "imminently", according to the government source. Around 5 billion euros more will be for making Spanish buildings more sustainable and energy efficient in the second quarter of the year.